Shortwave Pirate Radio 2016 – A Year In Review

Overall, 2016 was another great year for shortwave pirate radio listeners. If you’re interested in hearing pirates, the best ways to keep up to date on what is being heard is via the HFUnderground.com message board, as well as the real time Ryver chat. Rather than finding out about a transmission after it is over, you can tune in while it is still on the air.

And of course, your loggings and other posts on the HF Underground are most welcome! This is how we find out what stations are being heard. I’m looking forward to see what new and interesting pirate radio programming 2017 brings us. Happy DX!

To gauge shortwave pirate radio activity in 2016, I analyzed the Shortwave Pirate loggings forum of the HF Underground (http://www.hfunderground.com). A computer script parsed the message thread titles, as well as the timestamps of the messages. This information was used to produce some statistics about the level of pirate radio activity. Of course, as Mark Twain has written: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Still, let’s see what we can learn.

There were 13,860 messages posted to 2,398 unique threads, compared to 13,944 messages posted to 2,183 unique threads in 2015. Activity levels are essentially flat, but still at historically high levels. Back in the 1990s, it was not uncommon for an entire month to go by with only a handful of pirate stations logged. If you want to know when the “golden age” of shortwave pirate radio was, I would say it is right now.

Ideally, each thread represents an individual pirate station transmission. Also ideally, each message posted to a thread represents one logging. In reality, there is some error involved.

First, we can look at the transmission mode used:
AM 1,083
USB 1,139
LSB 73
CW 18
FM 17
UNKNOWN 62 (no mention of the mode in the posting)

USB barely beat out AM this year. If we assume (as likely) that the cases where no mode was reported were one of these, AM and USB account for virtually all of the transmissions. Cold Country Canada is a major user of LSB, along with Peskie Party Radio.

Next, we can see how much activity there is for each day of the week:

Sunday 512 (21%)
Monday 237 (10%)
Tuesday 196 (8%)
Wednesday 192 (8%)
Thursday 240 (10%)
Friday 379 (16%)
Saturday 642 (27%)

The percentages for each day in 2016 are virtually unchanged from 2015. As one might expect, Saturday and Sunday are the big winners, with Friday in third place. But don’t give up on weekday listening! Over a third of all transmissions are on a Monday through Thursday.

We can also look at the number of logging threads per month, to gauge activity:

This chart clearly shows the typical summer slump in pirate radio activity, presumably caused by high static levels, and people doing other things than listening to the radio (or transmitting on the radio). There was a bump in July, however.

Here’s a graph showing the number of broadcasts per day of the year that were logged, please click on the image to see it full sized:

Holidays are, as usual, a great opportunity to hear pirate stations.

We might be interested in knowing the best time of the day to try to hear a pirate station. Here’s a plot of the start times of the logged broadcasts, binned
by UTC hour of the day:

As you might expect, evening Eastern Time is the best, roughly 2300-0200 UTC, with a broader peak of lower activity from roughly 2000-0500 UTC. There is some activity in the morning to afternoon time period, and very little during the wee hours.

The next question is where to tune. As one might expect, 6925 kHz was the clear winner:

3375 kHz: 4
3387 kHz: 1
3440 kHz: 3
3495 kHz: 2
4015 kHz: 1
4020 kHz: 5
4025 kHz: 2
4030 kHz: 1
4060 kHz: 1
4070 kHz: 2
4865 kHz: 1
4875 kHz: 1
4920 kHz: 1
5110 kHz: 2
5120 kHz: 3
5125 kHz: 1
5150 kHz: 77
5790 kHz: 1
6030 kHz: 1
6150 kHz: 33
6170 kHz: 5
6200 kHz: 1
6205 kHz: 3
6210 kHz: 7
6240 kHz: 2
6275 kHz: 2
6282 kHz: 2
6295 kHz: 1
6340 kHz: 2
6375 kHz: 1
6770 kHz: 109
6780 kHz: 4
6850 kHz: 10
6873 kHz: 13
6874 kHz: 1
6875 kHz: 13
6876 kHz: 23
6880 kHz: 3
6885 kHz: 3
6888 kHz: 1
6899 kHz: 1
6900 kHz: 21
6905 kHz: 1
6910 kHz: 2
6914 kHz: 1
6915 kHz: 2
6919 kHz: 1
6920 kHz: 5
6922 kHz: 1
6923 kHz: 3
6924 kHz: 46
6925 kHz: 808
6926 kHz: 17
6927 kHz: 7
6928 kHz: 1
6929 kHz: 16
6930 kHz: 245
6931 kHz: 1
6932 kHz: 8
6933 kHz: 5
6935 kHz: 201
6936 kHz: 1
6937 kHz: 4
6939 kHz: 2
6940 kHz: 59
6941 kHz: 1
6943 kHz: 2
6945 kHz: 37
6946 kHz: 2
6949 kHz: 22
6950 kHz: 207
6951 kHz: 10
6952 kHz: 6
6954 kHz: 6
6955 kHz: 101
6956 kHz: 12
6957 kHz: 2
6958 kHz: 2
6959 kHz: 1
6960 kHz: 22
6961 kHz: 1
6963 kHz: 1
6964 kHz: 3
6965 kHz: 8
6967 kHz: 1
6969 kHz: 28
6970 kHz: 3
6974 kHz: 1
6975 kHz: 7
6976 kHz: 15
6977 kHz: 2
6980 kHz: 1
6995 kHz: 1
7335 kHz: 1
7405 kHz: 2
7410 kHz: 2
7515 kHz: 1
7519 kHz: 1
7520 kHz: 1
7530 kHz: 5
7590 kHz: 1
7595 kHz: 1
7610 kHz: 26
7940 kHz: 1
8020 kHz: 1
8040 kHz: 7
8055 kHz: 6
8060 kHz: 9
8065 kHz: 3
8070 kHz: 9
8485 kHz: 1
11640 kHz: 1
12286 kHz: 1
13855 kHz: 1
15050 kHz: 1
15100 kHz: 1
25925 kHz: 1

6925, along with 6924 and 6926 kHz, account for about 36% of logged transmissions. Last year they accounted for 40% and the year before that 50%, so there has been some movement to other frequencies. Also worth considering is that Old Time Radio’s use of 6770 kHz accounts for about 5% of the broadcast threads, and Relay Station 5150 on, curiously enough 5150 kHz. Still, virtually all activity occurs within the 43 meter band, 6850-7000 kHz.

There has been some movement to the lower bands, 3, 4, and 5 MHz, due to 43 meters “going long” and being unusable for short distance (NVIS) reception at night. Whether or not this trend will continue remains to be seen. It’s a great band for nighttime use, but not as many listeners check it out, or have decent antennas for 90 meters.

The most popular station logged is of course “UNID”, short for unidentified. In the world of shortwave pirate radio, there’s a number of transmissions where no ID is given. There’s also cases where no ID could be heard, due to poor conditions. This year, 888 out of 2,398 threads were UNID, or about 37 percent, the same percentage as last year. For 2014, there were 651 threads with 2,788 loggings where no station ID was given – that’s almost 33 percent of the threads.

Here’s the complete list of all stations with two or more logging threads:
UNID (888)
Moonlight Radio (171)
Old Time Radio (107)
Amphetamine Radio (92)
PeeWee Radio (84)
RELAY STATION 5150 (66)
Liquid Radio (61)
Radio Free Whatever (48)
Radio Azteca (47)
Radio Illuminati (40)
Radio Zed (39)
Captain Morgan (32)
Wolverine Radio (30)
XLR8 (30)
Channel Z (27)
WJD (27)
Cold Country Canada (24)
The Crystal Ship (19)
WREC (18)
Pirate Radio Boston (16)
Insane Radio (14)
XFM (13)
Boombox Radio (13)
Rave On Radio (12)
Radio Ga Ga (12)
Fab Four Radio Show (12)
WAZU (11)
YHWH (11)
Burn It Down Radio (11)
Skippy Radio (11)
Cool AM (10)
Pseudo Radio (9)
KCPR (9)
Red Beacon Radio (9)
CWCW (8)
Northwoods Radio (7)
Radio Free Euphoria (7)
Sousa Station (7)
WORK (7)
KIPM (6)
Radio True North (6)
Undercover Radio (6)
Radio Paisano (6)
Happy Hanukkah Radio (6)
Radio Fusion Radio (6)
WEEK (6)
X 2 (6)
Renegade Radio (5)
Blue Ocean Radio (5)
Toynbee Radio (5)
Black Cat Radio (5)
Partial India Radio (5)
WJFK (5)
Drunken DJ Radio (5)
The Bangalore Poacher (5)
Canadian Radio After Dark (5)
Ghost Shortwave (5)
BBC Pirate Radio (5)
Voice of Uncle Don (5)
The Fox (5)
Sycko Radio (5)
WEAK (4)
Radio Trump (4)
Howdy Doody Radio (4)
How Sweet It Is Radio (4)
Newport Pirate Radio (4)
Radio Free Ramones (4)
Doctor Detroit (4)
WBOG (3)
WHYP (3)
WEAK Radio (3)
XEROX (3)
Vo Pancho Villa (3)
The yodeler (3)
Network 51 (3)
CPRRS (3)
Brockett 99 (3)
Voice Of Greece (3)
Celtic Music Radio (3)
SEKIO Radio (3)
Nuttin’ On Shortwave (3)
Electric Circus Shortwave (3)
WGAY (3)
Old Classic Radio Plays (3)
Radio AV (3)
KFBN Fly By Night Radio (3)
KMUD (2)
WMPR (2)
Radio Jamba International (2)
Radio Free Mars Radio (2)
Radio First Termer (2)
WHJR (2)
WFUQ (2)
LTO Radio (2)
WLIS (2)
Pumpkin Patch Radio (2)
WAHR (2)
Witch City Radio (2)
Radio Halloween (2)
Amelia Earhart Comms (2)
COOLAM (2)
CKUT Relay (2)
KVR (2)
WPIG (2)
Girl Scout Radio (2)
Up Against The Wall Radio (2)
Radio Enterhaken (2)
KROW (2)
WYDX (2)
The Voice of Shortwave Radio (2)
The Gas Man Show (2)
Radio Metallica Worldwide (2)
No Coast Pirate Radio (2)
Bat Country Radio (2)
Radio Three (2)
Sonic Death Shortwave (2)
Cosmic Dust Shortwave (2)
RFF Radio (2)
Radio Free Do Whatever (2)

This gives us a guide as to which stations were most active in 2016.

Another thing we can look at are the total number of posts in all logging threads for each station, as a rough guide to how many listeners heard a particular station. There’s duplication of course, as the same listener likely reported several broadcasts for each station:
Moonlight Radio (917)
PeeWee Radio (627)
Amphetamine Radio (605)
Wolverine Radio (497)
Radio Free Whatever (442)
RELAY STATION 5150 (317)
Old Time Radio (315)
XLR8 (286)
Radio Azteca (281)
Liquid Radio (259)
WJD (259)
Radio Illuminati (249)
The Crystal Ship (210)
XFM (194)
Radio Zed (191)
Burn It Down Radio (158)
Channel Z (154)
Captain Morgan (153)
Cold Country Canada (134)
Insane Radio (116)
Skippy Radio (116)
WREC (109)
Boombox Radio (104)
Radio Ga Ga (93)
Pirate Radio Boston (91)
Drunken DJ Radio (88)
Northwoods Radio (81)
Fab Four Radio Show (77)
WEEK (69)
Undercover Radio (64)
WAZU (63)
Radio True North (61)
Cool AM (61)
Blue Ocean Radio (58)
Renegade Radio (55)
Red Beacon Radio (52)
Black Cat Radio (51)
CWCW (51)
Ghost Shortwave (48)
KIPM (47)
Rave On Radio (47)
The Fox (46)
Partial India Radio (45)
Voice of Uncle Don (44)
Radio Free Ramones (38)
Sousa Station (37)
Witch City Radio (36)
YHWH (36)
KCPR (35)
Canadian Radio After Dark (35)
Radio Paisano (34)
Radio Trump (33)
WORK (33)
X 2 (32)
Old Classic Radio Plays (32)
Happy Hanukkah Radio (31)
Doctor Detroit (31)
Radio Free Euphoria (30)
Brockett 99 (30)
WFUQ (29)
Radio Fusion Radio (29)
KMUD (28)
WBOG (28)
WGAY (28)
WHYP (26)
XEROX (26)
Pseudo Radio (26)
SEKIO Radio (26)
Bat Country Radio (26)
WEAK (25)
Newport Pirate Radio (24)
How Sweet It Is Radio (23)
Radio Free Mars Radio (22)
WJFK (22)
KFBN Fly By Night Radio (22)
LTO Radio (21)
Howdy Doody Radio (21)
Sycko Radio (21)
Nuttin’ On Shortwave (20)
BBC Pirate Radio (18)
Electric Circus Shortwave (18)
WEAK Radio (16)
The Bangalore Poacher (16)
COOLAM (16)
Girl Scout Radio (16)
CPRRS (16)
Radio Enterhaken (16)
The Gas Man Show (16)
Up Against The Wall Radio (15)
KROW (15)
No Coast Pirate Radio (15)
Amelia Earhart Comms (14)
The yodeler (14)
WHJR (13)
Radio AV (13)
Toynbee Radio (12)
CKUT Relay (12)
Network 51 (12)
Radio Three (12)
Cosmic Dust Shortwave (12)
WMPR (10)
Radio First Termer (10)
Vo Pancho Villa (10)
Pumpkin Patch Radio (10)
Radio Halloween (10)
The Voice of Shortwave Radio (10)
Radio Metallica Worldwide (10)
Voice Of Greece (9)
Radio Jamba International (8)
RFF Radio (7)
WLIS (6)
KVR (6)
WPIG (6)
WYDX (6)
WAHR (5)
Radio Free Do Whatever (5)
Celtic Music Radio (4)
Sonic Death Shortwave (4)

Next we can calculate the ratio of logging messages per thread, to gauge, in general, how many people reported hearing each station:

Moonlight Radio 917 171 5.36257
PeeWee Radio 627 84 7.46429
Amphetamine Radio 605 92 6.57609
Wolverine Radio 497 30 16.5667
Radio Free Whatever 442 48 9.20833
RELAY STATION 5150 317 66 4.80303
Old Time Radio 315 107 2.94393
XLR8 286 30 9.53333
Radio Azteca 281 47 5.97872
Liquid Radio 259 61 4.2459
WJD 259 27 9.59259
Radio Illuminati 249 40 6.225
The Crystal Ship 210 19 11.0526
XFM 194 13 14.9231
Radio Zed 191 39 4.89744
Burn It Down Radio 158 11 14.3636
Channel Z 154 27 5.7037
Captain Morgan 153 32 4.78125
Cold Country Canada 134 24 5.58333
Insane Radio 116 14 8.28571
Skippy Radio 116 11 10.5455
WREC 109 18 6.05556
Boombox Radio 104 13 8
Radio Ga Ga 93 12 7.75
Pirate Radio Boston 91 16 5.6875
Drunken DJ Radio 88 5 17.6
Northwoods Radio 81 7 11.5714
Fab Four Radio Show 77 12 6.41667
WEEK 69 6 11.5
Undercover Radio 64 6 10.6667
WAZU 63 11 5.72727
Radio True North 61 6 10.1667
Cool AM 61 10 6.1
Blue Ocean Radio 58 5 11.6
Renegade Radio 55 5 11
Red Beacon Radio 52 9 5.77778
Black Cat Radio 51 5 10.2
CWCW 51 8 6.375
Ghost Shortwave 48 5 9.6
KIPM 47 6 7.83333
Rave On Radio 47 12 3.91667
The Fox 46 5 9.2
Partial India Radio 45 5 9
Voice of Uncle Don 44 5 8.8
Radio Free Ramones 38 4 9.5
Sousa Station 37 7 5.28571
Witch City Radio 36 2 18
YHWH 36 11 3.27273
KCPR 35 9 3.88889
Canadian Radio After Dark 35 5 7
Radio Paisano 34 6 5.66667
Radio Trump 33 4 8.25
WORK 33 7 4.71429
X 2 32 6 5.33333
Old Classic Radio Plays 32 3 10.6667
Happy Hanukkah Radio 31 6 5.16667
Doctor Detroit 31 4 7.75
Radio Free Euphoria 30 7 4.28571
Brockett 99 30 3 10
WFUQ 29 2 14.5
Radio Fusion Radio 29 6 4.83333
KMUD 28 2 14
WBOG 28 3 9.33333
WGAY 28 3 9.33333
WHYP 26 3 8.66667
XEROX 26 3 8.66667
Pseudo Radio 26 9 2.88889
SEKIO Radio 26 3 8.66667
Bat Country Radio 26 2 13
WEAK 25 4 6.25
Newport Pirate Radio 24 4 6
How Sweet It Is Radio 23 4 5.75
Radio Free Mars Radio 22 2 11
WJFK 22 5 4.4
KFBN Fly By Night Radio 22 3 7.33333
LTO Radio 21 2 10.5
Howdy Doody Radio 21 4 5.25
Sycko Radio 21 5 4.2
Giles Letourneau Relay 21 1 21
Nuttin' On Shortwave 20 3 6.66667
Voice of Helium 19 1 19
BBC Pirate Radio 18 5 3.6
Electric Circus Shortwave 18 3 6
WEAK Radio 16 3 5.33333
Radio Casablanca 16 1 16
The Bangalore Poacher 16 5 3.2
Chairman Of The Board Radio 16 1 16
COOLAM 16 2 8
Girl Scout Radio 16 2 8
CPRRS 16 3 5.33333
Radio Enterhaken 16 2 8
The Gas Man Show 16 2 8
Up Against The Wall Radio 15 2 7.5
KROW 15 2 7.5
Brownie Radio 15 1 15
No Coast Pirate Radio 15 2 7.5
Amelia Earhart Comms 14 2 7
The yodeler 14 3 4.66667
Kid From Brooklyn 14 1 14
WHJR 13 2 6.5
Radio AV 13 3 4.33333
Toynbee Radio 12 5 2.4
Make Your Liver Quiver Radio 12 1 12
CKUT Relay 12 2 6
Network 51 12 3 4
Radio Three 12 2 6
Cosmic Dust Shortwave 12 2 6
Voice of Portugal 12 1 12
MAC Shortwave 11 1 11
Hit Parade Radio 11 1 11
Left Lane Radio 11 1 11
Mouth of Mohammed 11 1 11
WGXC 11 1 11
WNPP 11 1 11
Radio Free Furry 11 1 11
Euro Temptations Shortwave 11 1 11
WMPR 10 2 5
Kracker Radio 10 1 10
Radio First Termer 10 2 5
Vo Pancho Villa 10 3 3.33333
Radio Cinco De Mayo 10 1 10
Pumpkin Patch Radio 10 2 5
Radio Halloween 10 2 5
The Voice of Shortwave Radio 10 2 5
Radio Metallica Worldwide 10 2 5
Urea Radio 10 1 10
Cradle Rock Radio 10 1 10
Spy Numbers Relay 10 1 10
Voice Of Greece 9 3 3
KULP 9 1 9
Radio Jamba International 8 2 4
Peskie Party Radio 8 1 8
Radio Merlin International Relay 8 1 8
WTKY 8 1 8
Chamber Pot Radio 7 1 7
Fruitcake Station 7 1 7
WCTU 7 1 7
RFF Radio 7 2 3.5
Radio Morania 6 1 6
WLIS 6 2 3
Artem Radio 6 1 6
KVR 6 2 3
WPIG 6 2 3
WYDX 6 2 3
WRIR Relay 6 1 6
Auld Lang Syne Radio 6 1 6
Radio KEN 5 1 5
Germany Calling 5 1 5
KAMP 5 1 5
WAHR 5 2 2.5
IBC Radio 5 1 5
Old Turkey Radio 5 1 5
KDST 5 1 5
Radio Free Do Whatever 5 2 2.5
WBCQ Relay 5 1 5
WGWR 4 1 4
WRRI 4 1 4
Native Radio 4 1 4
Big Johnson Radio 4 1 4
Celtic Music Radio 4 3 1.33333
Lee County Radio 4 1 4
Ride of the Valkries 4 1 4
Sonic Death Shortwave 4 2 2
Union City Radio 4 1 4
Radio Saxophone 4 1 4
Fake UVB33 Numbers 4 1 4
International Free Radio Service 4 1 4
Radio Clandestine 3 1 3
WOLF 3 1 3
Hobart Radio 3 1 3
X 1 3 1 3
Radio Indiana 3 1 3
Potato Pirate 3 1 3
Bird Calls 3 1 3
He Man Radio 3 1 3
Pirate Radio Wilson 3 1 3
Mushroom Radio 2 1 2
Radio Gallifrey Intergalactic 2 1 2
Rcok and Roll Radio 2 1 2
Son of the Lincolnshire Poacher 2 1 2
NRUI 2 1 2
WGOD 2 1 2
Brother Stair Numbers 2 1 2
Indira Calling 1 1 1
Vivian Girls Radio 1 1 1
Friday Night Radio 1 1 1
Radio Tambour 1 1 1
Echo Radio 1 1 1
Radio Airplane 1 1 1
Soft Rock Radio Relay 1 1 1
Not For FCC Airplay Radio 1 1 1

For each station, the first number is the total number of reports, the second is the number of threads, the third is the ratio. One risk here is that the same transmission could be logged in two, or even more, threads, which would reduce this ratio. This gives us a very rough estimate of how well heard, or reported, anyway, each station is.

We can then sort these by that ratio:
21,Giles Letourneau Relay
19,Voice of Helium
18,Witch City Radio
17.6,Drunken DJ Radio
16.5667,Wolverine Radio
16,Radio Casablanca
16,Chairman Of The Board Radio
15,Brownie Radio
14.9231,XFM
14.5,WFUQ
14.3636,Burn It Down Radio
14,KMUD
14,Kid From Brooklyn
13,Bat Country Radio
12,Make Your Liver Quiver Radio
12,Voice of Portugal
11.6,Blue Ocean Radio
11.5714,Northwoods Radio
11.5,WEEK
11.0526,The Crystal Ship
11,Renegade Radio
11,MAC Shortwave
11,Radio Free Mars Radio
11,Hit Parade Radio
11,Left Lane Radio
11,Mouth of Mohammed
11,WGXC
11,WNPP
11,Radio Free Furry
11,Euro Temptations Shortwave
10.6667,Undercover Radio
10.6667,Old Classic Radio Plays
10.5455,Skippy Radio
10.5,LTO Radio
10.2,Black Cat Radio
10.1667,Radio True North
10,Kracker Radio
10,Radio Cinco De Mayo
10,Brockett 99
10,Urea Radio
10,Cradle Rock Radio
10,Spy Numbers Relay
9.6,Ghost Shortwave
9.59259,WJD
9.53333,XLR8
9.5,Radio Free Ramones
9.33333,WBOG
9.33333,WGAY
9.20833,Radio Free Whatever
9.2,The Fox
9,Partial India Radio
9,KULP
8.8,Voice of Uncle Don
8.66667,WHYP
8.66667,XEROX
8.66667,SEKIO Radio
8.28571,Insane Radio
8.25,Radio Trump
8,Boombox Radio
8,COOLAM
8,Peskie Party Radio
8,Girl Scout Radio
8,Radio Enterhaken
8,The Gas Man Show
8,Radio Merlin International Relay
8,WTKY
7.83333,KIPM
7.75,Radio Ga Ga
7.75,Doctor Detroit
7.5,Up Against The Wall Radio
7.5,KROW
7.5,No Coast Pirate Radio
7.46429,PeeWee Radio
7.33333,KFBN Fly By Night Radio
7,Chamber Pot Radio
7,Fruitcake Station
7,Amelia Earhart Comms
7,Canadian Radio After Dark
7,WCTU
6.66667,Nuttin’ On Shortwave
6.57609,Amphetamine Radio
6.5,WHJR
6.41667,Fab Four Radio Show
6.375,CWCW
6.25,WEAK
6.225,Radio Illuminati
6.1,Cool AM
6.05556,WREC
6,Radio Morania
6,Artem Radio
6,CKUT Relay
6,Newport Pirate Radio
6,Electric Circus Shortwave
6,Radio Three
6,Cosmic Dust Shortwave
6,WRIR Relay
6,Auld Lang Syne Radio
5.97872,Radio Azteca
5.77778,Red Beacon Radio
5.75,How Sweet It Is Radio
5.72727,WAZU
5.7037,Channel Z
5.6875,Pirate Radio Boston
5.66667,Radio Paisano
5.58333,Cold Country Canada
5.36257,Moonlight Radio
5.33333,WEAK Radio
5.33333,CPRRS
5.33333,X 2
5.28571,Sousa Station
5.25,Howdy Doody Radio
5.16667,Happy Hanukkah Radio
5,WMPR
5,Radio KEN
5,Germany Calling
5,Radio First Termer
5,KAMP
5,Pumpkin Patch Radio
5,Radio Halloween
5,IBC Radio
5,The Voice of Shortwave Radio
5,Radio Metallica Worldwide
5,Old Turkey Radio
5,KDST
5,WBCQ Relay
4.89744,Radio Zed
4.83333,Radio Fusion Radio
4.80303,RELAY STATION 5150
4.78125,Captain Morgan
4.71429,WORK
4.66667,The yodeler
4.4,WJFK
4.33333,Radio AV
4.28571,Radio Free Euphoria
4.2459,Liquid Radio
4.2,Sycko Radio
4,Radio Jamba International
4,WGWR
4,WRRI
4,Network 51
4,Native Radio
4,Big Johnson Radio
4,Lee County Radio
4,Ride of the Valkries
4,Union City Radio
4,Radio Saxophone
4,Fake UVB33 Numbers
4,International Free Radio Service
3.91667,Rave On Radio
3.88889,KCPR
3.6,BBC Pirate Radio
3.5,RFF Radio
3.33333,Vo Pancho Villa
3.27273,YHWH
3.2,The Bangalore Poacher
3,Radio Clandestine
3,WOLF
3,WLIS
3,KVR
3,Hobart Radio
3,WPIG
3,WYDX
3,Voice Of Greece
3,X 1
3,Radio Indiana
3,Potato Pirate
3,Bird Calls
3,He Man Radio
3,Pirate Radio Wilson
2.94393,Old Time Radio
2.88889,Pseudo Radio
2.5,WAHR
2.5,Radio Free Do Whatever
2.4,Toynbee Radio
2,Mushroom Radio
2,Radio Gallifrey Intergalactic
2,Rcok and Roll Radio
2,Son of the Lincolnshire Poacher
2,NRUI
2,Sonic Death Shortwave
2,WGOD
2,Brother Stair Numbers
1.33333,Celtic Music Radio
1,Indira Calling
1,Vivian Girls Radio
1,Friday Night Radio
1,Radio Tambour
1,Echo Radio
1,Radio Airplane
1,Soft Rock Radio Relay
1,Not For FCC Airplay Radio

Average Ratio 6.77086

Ferrite Core 1, RFI 0

Once again, a giant ferrite toroid coil saves the day. I have a random wire antenna (about 100 foot long) running into the basement workshop, fed with RG-6 coax (the coax shield is left floating at the antenna end). Reception was horrible, I could barely hear anything, even SWBC stations. I considered that maybe it wasn’t a lack of signal problem so much a signal to noise problem, so I located a large ferrite toroid coil from the junkbox, wrapped as many turns of coax around it as I could (about a dozen), and placed that in series with the incoming coax, just before the radio. Voila, the noise/hash was gone. The choke helps to reduce RFI flowing as currents on the shield of the coax.

The ferrite core was a Fair-Rite 5943003801, 61 mm toroid, type 43 ferrite. I buy mine from Mouser for about $4 each: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Fair-Rite/5943003801

Here’s a photo showing how the coax is wrapped around the toroid core:

And here are some before and after video recordings. The gap about half way through each is when I disconnected the incoming coax to the radio, and inserted the choke, and then reconnected the coax:

More adventures in filtering the power supply for an AFE-822 SDR

I frequency monitor and record the 285-325 kHz DGPS band, looking for DX beacons. Recently, I noticed a noise source centered around 315 kHz, almost 10 kHz wide, on my AFE 822 SDR with a 500 ft beverage antenna:

I tried hunting around the house with a portable radio, looking for it, but could never find it. I then checked on my netSDR, with a 670 ft sky loop antenna, and it was not visible there. Very curious. I then tried the beverage antenna, and could still not observe it. But it was there with the AFE822, with either antenna. This made me suspect noise was entering the AFE-822 through the power supply. I was use the USB input for power, and previously wrote about my attempts to reduce the noise from the power supply. This noise source was new since then, possible due to something else added to the shack.

I decided to put together a filtered DC power supply, using linear wall transformer, and adding filtering via capacitors and an inductor.

The circuit itself is fairly simple:

The output of the transformer I used is about 10 volts under load. I chose a 5 ohm power resistor to place in series, which dropped 2.5 volts, so the resulting DC power supplied to the AFE 822 is 7.5 volts. The value of this resistor depends on the output voltage from the DC supply. The AFE-822 draws 0.5 amps, Ohms Law can be used to calculate the desired resistance. The AFE822 has a voltage regulator inside it (it appears to be an LM7805 variant, possibly low drop out), so it can tolerate a wide range, the AFE 822 website specifies 7 to 10 volts.

The inductor is from the junk box, I don’t know what the value is. While I’m telling myself it helps to filter, I might try to find a known, larger value. The 1000 uF electrolytic capacitors provide low frequency filtering, the 0.047 uF ceramic caps provide RF filtering.

The filter circuit was constructed dead bug style on the lid of a small metal can:

Here it is mounted on the can:

And now the spectrum, with the new power supply. Certainly an improvement:

Yet Another !&*%$! Noise Source

The past few days, I have noticed higher than usual noise levels, generally on the lower frequencies, and particularly on the longwave band, including the 285-325 kHz DGPS band, where I run nightly SDR recordings, to later process the data and decode and detect DX DGPS stations using my Amalgamated DGPS app.

Thinking back to what new electronics devices have been added to the house, two came to mind, a new cable modem, and a new ethernet switch. The switch is up here in the shack, so it seemed to be a likely candidate. The switch is a D-Link DES-1008E 8-Port 10/100 Unmanaged Desktop Switch. It uses a mini USB port for power, using either the included AC adapter, or power from a USB port. When I installed it, I decided to not use the AC adapter, but rather a USB port on my UPS, figuring it was better to not add yet another potentially noisy switching power supply to the mix.

The test was easy, I just unplugged the power to the switch. Sure enough, the noise vanished. Great, the switch is a RFI generator. Or is it? As another test, I plugged it into a port on a USB hub. No noise. Hmm… so it seems that the noise is indeed from the USB port on the UPS. I did not notice any increase in the noise floor when I got the UPS a few months ago, but It’s something I should look into again, just to be sure. The UPS is a CyberPower CP1350PFCLCD.

Here’s a waterfall from the SDR, showing the DGPS band, 280-330 kHz. You can see where I changed the power to the switch from the UPS USB port to the USB hub, the bottom part of the waterfall is when the switch was still powered by the UPS (click to enlarge it):

I still have a noise source just above 305 kHz to hunt down.

Update

I decided to see what I could do to improve things, and reduce the noise floor.

Here is the baseline, after no longer powering the switch from the UPS:

First, I relocated the AFE822 away from the computer and rats nest of assorted cables behind it, powered from an HTC USB charger:

The squiggly noise around 305 kHz vanished!

I then switched to an Apple USB charger / power supply, as their products tend to be a bit better made:

Another improvement, the overall noise floor is a bit less now.

But can we do better? I then switched to an older USB hub for power to the AFE822, that I thought might be better filtered:

I then changed to a linear supply plugged directly into the AFE822. I don’t notice any obvious improvement? Maybe it even looks like a little more noise? Difficult to tell. You can see a DGPS station popped up on 304 kHz while I was switching things around, between the last two tests, it was likely Mequon, WI.

Winter 2016-2017 Snowfall

On Parr’s Ridge in northern Carroll County, MD.

Contest
Guess The Amount of Snow At Casa De Smolinski

Seasonal Snowfall Contest Entries

  2.2	Ok_now_3-2-1_DANK-HANK
  3.2	Pamsm
  4.4	I love Kate
  5.0	hee hee
  7.5	Questsnow
 12.5	83worldtraveler
 19.7	Groveton
 23.6	Snowbi-wan Kenobi
 24.1	A CAMDEN WALKER
 25.7	wadejg
 26.2	Kate commenting
 27.0	taylort2
 29.4	Autumn_Forge
 29.7	heroine.chic
 31.6	cameraman
 31.7	Rex Block
 33.3	bob919
 35.1	Xtrain21
 36.5	walter-in-fallschurch
 38.4  	pct_atc
 43.2	NorthArlington101
 45.6	Terpiecat
 50.2	eric654
 53.4	AndrewinStafford
 54.5	chrisofthebeagles
 57.3	BigCountry
 57.9	slamslam
 79.0	surewhynot
120.0	The Adorable Miniature Snowplows
201.7	Days Of Weather Past

Saturday November 19, 2016:
Sleet. Changed to light snow before ending.

Sunday November 20, 2016:
Snow flurries.

November Total: 0.0″

Sunday December 11, 2016:
0.1″ Snow.

Saturday December 17, 2016:
0.5″ Snow and sleet, then 0.2″ freezing rain.

December Total: 0.6″

Friday January 6, 2017:
2.8″ Snow.

Saturday January 7, 2017:
Light snow, no accumulation.

Tuesday January 10, 2017:
Light snow, 0.1″ accumulation.

Wednesday January 11, 2017:
0.07″ of freezing rain, accumulation on the ground and road surfaces only, due to above freezing air temperatures.

Saturday January 14, 2017:
Sleet, light snow, freezing rain.

January Total: 2.9″

2016-2017 Season To Date Total: 3.5″

Summary of Halloween 2016 Shortwave Pirate Radio Activity in North America

After a slow start, Halloween 2016 pirate radio activity over the extended weekend picked up, especially Sunday and Monday evening. At one point on Monday there were at least four stations on at the same time.

I counted 68 broadcasts that were logged, and have summarized them below in chronological order, each linked to the corresponding logging thread on the HFUnderground.com shortwave pirate radio message forum. Hopefully I haven’t made any typos.

A big thanks to all the stations that gave us listeners lots of programs to listen to!

Here’s the list:

Friday, October 28, 2016:
RELAY STATION 5150 on 5150 AM at 1359 UTC.
An UNID on 6925.5 AM at 1813 UTC.
Radio AV was testing on 6925 AM at 2102 UTC.
Old Time Radio on 6770 AM at 2245 UTC.
Moonlight Radio on 6929 LSB at 2351 UTC.

Saturday, October 29, 2016 (including Friday night):
An UNID on 6925 USB at 0015 UTC.
Bat Country Radio on 6955 USB at 0022 UTC
Another UNID on 6935 USB at 0055 UTC.
PeeWee Radio on 6955 USB at 0128 UTC.
WAHR (Automated Halloween Radio) on 6955 USB at 0300 UTC.
Yet another UNID on 6955 USB at 0348 UTC.
Amphetamine Radio on 6925 USB at 1514 UTC.
An UNID on 6925 USB and then AM at 1900 UTC.
Another UNID on 6930 AM at 2139 UTC.
Radio Illuminati on 6150 AM at 2206 UTC.
Pumpkin Patch Radio on 6930 USB at 2252 UTC.
Old Time Radio on 6770 AM at 2225 UTC.
Radio Free Furry on 6945 USB at 2352 UTC.

Sunday, October 30, 2016 (including Saturday night):
Moonlight Radio on 6930 USB at 0002 UTC.
Pee Wee Radio on 6955 USB at 0133 UTC.
An UNID on 6950 AM at 0204 UTC.
Another UNID on 6925 USB at 0215 UTC.
Another UNID on 6925.1 AM at 0218 UTC.
Yet another UNID on 6925 AM then USB then LSB at 0342 UTC.
Radio Halloween on 6925 AM at 1156 UTC.
One more UNID on 6930 AM at 1248 UTC.
Radio Halloween on 6925.4 AM at 1526 UTC.
An UNID on 6963 LSB at 1542 UTC.
Radio AV on 6925.7 AM at 1616 UTC.
An UNID on 6930 USB at 1635 UTC.
RELAY STATION 5150 on 5150 AM at 1901 UTC.
Radio Merlin via RELAY STATION 5150 on 5150 AM at 2014 UTC.
Witch City Radio 6925 AM at 2039 UTC.
Radio Merlin International relay on 6925 AM at 2128 UTC.
Radio Fusion Radio on 6930 USB at 2143 UTC.
Captain Morgan Shortwave on 6924 AM at 2155 UTC.
An UNID on 6950 AM at 2157 UTC.
Old Time Radio on 6770 AM at 2205 UTC.
The Yodeler on 6930 USB at 2228 UTC.
RELAY STATION 5150 on 5150 AM at 2234 UTC.
The Yodeler on 6925 USB at 2236 UTC.
Radio Fusion Radio on 6925 USB at 2242 UTC.
Rave On Radio on 6935 USB at 2300 UTC.
The Yodeler on 6930 USB at 2312 UTC.

Monday, October 31, 2016 (including Sunday night):
RELAY STATION 5150 on 5150 AM (received in Brazil) at 0018 UTC.
An UNID on 6924.7 USB at 0013 UTC.
NRUI (Amelia Earhart callsign) on 6925 CW at 0204 UTC.
WAHR (Automated Halloween Radio) on 6925 USB at 0216 UTC.
An UNID on 6925 USB at 0235 UTC.
An UNID on 6925 USB at 1524 UTC.
Amphetamine Radio on 6925 USB at 1753 UTC.
Radio AV on 6925 AM at 1916 UTC.
Amphetamine Radio on 6923 USB at 2053 UTC.
Old Time Radio on 6770 AM at 2205 UTC.
Doctor Detroit on 6935 AM at 2237 UTC.
Moonlight Radio on 6930 USB at 2254 UTC.
An UNID on 6925 USB at 2304 UTC.
Witch City Radio on 6873.4 AM at 2309 UTC.
An UNID on 6940 LSB at 2338 UTC.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 (including Monday/Halloween night):
An UNID on 6925 USB at 0008 UTC.
Wolverine Radio on 6935 USB at 0013 UTC.
Pumpkin Patch Radio on 6925 USB at 0034 UTC.
XFM on 6960 AM at 0042 UTC.
An UNID on 6950 USB at 0046 UTC.
Canadian Radio After Dark on 6950 USB at 0048 UTC.
Undercover Radio on 6975 USB at 0058 UTC.
Renegade Radio on 6925 at USB.
WJD on 6930 USB at 0130 UTC.

Only one Europirate was logged on this side of the pond: Enterprise Radio was on 6950 AM at 2200 UTC on the 31st They sent an SSTV image, which I was able to receive with poor quality:

RainBrandy from Germany had better reception, as you might imagine:

Those Wacky Pescadores

Pescadore is the term used by Pirate DXers to refer to a fishermen operating on the 43 meter band, the plural is pescadores, often abbreviated as peskies. While they can turn up anywhere on the band (or outside it), 6925 LSB seems to be the most common frequency, which can cause QRM to pirates operating on 6925 AM. They also turn up on 6933 LSB fairly often.

Usually you hear them chatting with each other; informal QSOs. Sometimes however they have been known to play music, or engage in other activities fairly close to broadcasting. They can actually be entertaining to listen to.

Here is a recording of them from the other night, starting just before 0000 UTC on 21 September, 2016.

Pescadores have even inspired a pirate radio station named Pesky Party Radio, most recently heard last month. This station plays Spanish language covers of popular songs, and is rather hilarious.

Decoding the Entire DGPS Band At Once, Part 2

In my earlier post, I introduced a new program that decodes the entire DGPS band at once, from SDR recording files. This allows you to record the band overnight, then process the recordings in the morning, to see what stations were received.

I’ve since re-written the app, with a few additions.

The big change is the ability to decode from regular WAVE audio files, if you do not have an SDR. The app can decode from multiple DGPS channels in the same WAVE file, as many as fit in the bandwidth. So if, for example, your radio is tuned to 300 kHz USB with a bandwidth of 6 kHz, then 301 to 305 kHz fit inside and will be decoded. You could of course tune to say 299.5 kHz and squeeze in another channel. Or make the bandwidth wider. Or both!

The graph window now shows a red graph at the top, which indicates the total number of messages per minute being decoded. It can be handy as a rough guide as to how well band conditions are.

I have also added support for a few other formats of SDR recordings, Studio1, ELAD, and Sdr-Radio, in addition to SdrDx / RF Space and Perseus formats. Note that I do not have all of these programs, so testing was done with files provided by others. I think it is all working correctly, but you never know.

The app is still Mac only, but the changes to this version (which is close to a complete re-write) move me closer to being able to release a Windows version. It can be downloaded here: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/dgps_decoding_software_sdr.html

A Low Pass Filter For Longwave

Recently, I have been DXing DGPS (Differential GPS) stations on the longwave band. They occupy the region from 285 to 325 kHz. I’ve been getting some pretty good results with some custom software I wrote that demodulates all of the DGPS channels (1 kHz apart) in parallel from I/Q recording files from my SDR. This lets me analyze the entire band from a set of overnight recordings. That itself is the subject of another post I am working on.

I decided to build a low pass filter that just passes the longwave band, attenuating medium wave and shortwave, in an attempt to improve reception of weak DGPS signals.

The filter is flat to about 400 kHz, then starts attenuating. It is down about 30 dB at the start of the MW band (530 kHz) and reaches about 45 dB by 700 kHz, then eventually reaches about 50 dB. My strongest local MW stations are on 1280 and 1320 kHz, so I felt this was sufficient. I did not want to attenuate signals on the longwave band itself.

Below is a schematic of the filter. I used what components I had on hand, hence the paralleling of some of the inductors and capacitors. (Click on any of the images to enlarge them to full size)

I previously wrote about Building an RF Noise Generator For Testing Filters and included some plots showing the noise spectrum taken with an AFE822x SDR running the SdrDx software. Below is a plot of the noise generator fed directly into the SDR over the range of 100 to 1700 kHz.

Next is the spectrum with the filter installed. You can see the dramatic attenuation starting above about 400 kHz. (You can see an RFI noise source around 1300 kHz from elsewhere in my lab, which I have not yet tracked down)

Below you can see the entire MW and LW bands, this is without the filter and using my 500 ft beverage antenna:

Next, with the filter installed. Most of MW is knocked out, except for a few locals and stations on the lower end of the band. 580 is WHP in Harrisburg PA with 50 kW. A few more stages on the filter might be able to attenuate that some more, but I’m pretty happy with things already.

Below is an image of the filter itself, mounted in an aluminum enclosure:

And all bundled up, ready for use:

Decoding the Entire DGPS Band At Once

DGPS stations transmit the difference between positions indicated by GPS satellite systems and the known fixed position of the station. This allows higher accuracy. DGPS transmissions are 100 or 200 baud and are transmitted on frequencies from 285 kHz to 325 kHz in the longwave band. Hundreds of these stations are operated by the Coast Guard and other agencies around the world, and they can be interesting DX targets. Each station transmits a continuous stream of messages containing correction data for GPS. These messages also contain the station ID code, so they can be used to directly ID the station.

The usual way to DX these stations is to tune your receiver to a particular frequency, run your DGPS software (which I have for Android , iPad/iPhone and Mac OS X) set for one baud rate, and wait to see what station(s) are heard on that frequency. Then change baud rates, tune to the next frequency, and try again.

Since SDRs are capable of recording a chunk of the RF spectrum directly to a disk file, I realized that a decoder could be written to demodulate all of the DGPS channels at the same time, at both baud rates. They write this data as a I/Q file, storing the complex representation of a portion of the RF spectrum. A 50 kHz bandwidth is slightly more than enough to cover the entire DGPS band. I set my SDR software up to record overnight, then in the morning I can run the recordings through the software, and see what stations are present.

The software sets up 82 SSB demodulators, two for each of the DGPS channels, one is for decoding 100 baud and the other for 200 baud, that allows me to use a more narrow filter for the 100 baud case. The output of each demodulator goes to a DGPS decoder that looks for valid messages. A message is considered valid if it starts with the correct preamble byte, is of message type 6 or 9 (the most common sent), has a z-count (which is a time code offset from the hour) that is within a few seconds of what it should be, and passes the 6 bit parity word test. This eliminates the vast majority of bad message decodes, although every so often one will sneak through. This is because you can get multiple bit errors on a message that corrupt both the data and parity word in such a way that the parity check still passes. It is still necessary to visually inspect the decodes, and decide if a seemingly amazing DX catch is realistic, or more likely just a bad decode.

Below is a screenshot showing the output of approximately 24 hours of recordings of the DGPS band.

The columns containing the following information:
• Count: the number of decodes of this station.
• ID: ID number of the station, stations transmit either the ID or one of the reference IDs.
• RefID1: The first reference ID of the station.
• RefID2: The second reference ID of the station.
• kHz: Frequency.
• Baud: The baud rate, 100 or 200.
• City: Station Location.
• Country: Station Location.
• Lat: Station latitude.
• Lon: Station longitude.
• km: The distance to the station from your location.
• deg: The bearing to the station from your location.

Below is a text copy of the data:

   Count   ID ref1 ref2  kHz Baud                           City              Country      Lat      Lon     km Deg
      22  918  310  311  286.0  200                    Wiarton, ON               Canada    44.75   -81.12    655 330
   94810  804    8    9  286.0  200                 Sandy Hook, NJ        United States    40.47   -74.02    267  70
     117  886  272  273  287.0  100               Fort Stevens, OR        United States    46.21  -123.96   3772 296
   17277  942  340  341  288.0  200                   Cape Ray, NL               Canada    47.64   -59.24   1667  52
     680  809   18   19  289.0  100             Cape Canaveral, FL        United States    28.47   -80.55   1288 195
   43711  806   12   13  289.0  100                     Driver, VA        United States    36.96   -76.56    306 172
    7955  869  168  169  290.0  200                 Louisville, KY        United States    38.02   -85.31    742 258
   22384  799   44   45  290.0  200                  Penobscot, ME        United States    44.45   -68.78    858  49
     318  836  112  113  292.0  200                  Cheboygan, MI        United States    45.66   -84.47    899 319
   22854  778  192  193  292.0  100                 Kensington, SC        United States    33.49   -79.35    721 197
   45542  803    6    7  293.0  100                   Moriches, NY        United States    40.79   -72.76    379  69
     255  814   28   29  293.0  200               English Turn, LA        United States    29.89   -89.95   1601 231
   44167  771  196  197  294.0  100                   New Bern, NC        United States    35.18   -77.06    502 180
   25472  929  312  313  296.0  200          St Jean Richelieu, QC               Canada    45.32   -73.32    693  24
    1519  830  100  101  296.0  100            Wisconsin, Point WI        United States    46.71   -92.03   1438 307
   50006  792  136  137  297.0  200                       Bobo, MS        United States    34.13   -90.70   1361 247
    2018  937  330  331  298.0  200              Hartlen Point, NS               Canada    44.58   -63.45   1237  59
    9872  831  102  103  298.0  100             Upper Keweenaw, MI        United States    47.23   -88.63   1252 315
   22843  866  162  163  299.0  200                   Sallisaw, OK        United States    35.37   -94.82   1635 258
   20580  926  318  319  300.0  200            Riviere du Loop, QC               Canada    47.76   -69.61   1072  31
     692  871  172  173  300.0  100                   Appleton, WA        United States    45.79  -121.33   3584 295
       1  828  246  247  301.0  100                   Angleton, TX        United States    29.30   -95.48   2035 241
   97637  847   58   59  301.0  200                  Annapolis, MD        United States    39.02   -76.61     82 156
      42  972  901  902  302.0  200                     Miraflores               Panama    8.99    -79.58   3384 184
      73  881  262  263  302.0  100                 Point Loma, CA        United States    32.68  -117.25   3613 270
      10  816   32   33  304.0  100               Aransas Pass, TX        United States    27.84   -97.07   2255 240
   43885  777  218  219  304.0  200                     Mequon, WI        United States    43.20   -88.07    998 296
      64  919  308  309  306.0  200                   Cardinal, ON               Canada    44.78   -75.42    579  12
   85388  772  198  199  306.0  200                   Acushnet, MA        United States    41.75   -70.89    562  64
    1196  934  336  337  307.0  200                 Fox Island, NS               Canada    45.36   -61.10   1440  58
     568  971  903  904  307.0  200                          Gatun               Panama    9.26    -79.94   3358 185
     899  927  316  317  309.0  200                     Lauzon, QC               Canada    46.82   -71.17    920  28
   88266  870  170  171  309.0  200                Reedy Point, DE        United States    39.57   -75.57    123  96
    3939  944  342  343  310.0  200                Cape Norman, NL               Canada    51.51   -55.83   2082  44
   33700  863  156  157  311.0  200                 Rock Island IL        United States    42.02   -90.23   1139 287
    3263  935  334  335  312.0  200               Western Head, NS               Canada    43.99   -64.67   1123  60
   18438  827  244  245  312.0  200                      Tampa, FL        United States    27.85   -82.54   1410 202
    7487  925  320  321  313.0  200                      Moise, QC               Canada    50.20   -66.12   1440  32
     269  764  210  211  314.0  200                    Lincoln, CA        United States    38.85  -121.36   3723 283
   28554  808   16   17  314.0  200                 Card Sound, FL        United States    25.44   -80.45   1613 192
    3502  940  338  339  315.0  200                  Cape Race, NL               Canada    46.66   -53.08   2068  60
   14236  864  158  159  317.0  200             St Paul [Alma], MN        United States    44.31   -91.91   1328 297
     115  936  332  333  319.0  200            Point Escuminac, NB               Canada    47.08   -64.80   1277  46
   66589  838  116  117  319.0  200                    Detroit, MI        United States    42.31   -83.10    587 301
   19514  865  160  161  320.0  200              Millers Ferry, AL        United States    32.10   -87.40   1258 231
   14448  862  154  155  322.0  200                   St Louis, MO        United States    38.62   -89.76   1104 267
    9262  839  118  119  322.0  100                 Youngstown, NY        United States    43.24   -78.97    426 337
   83262  844   94   95  324.0  200               Hudson Falls, NY        United States    43.27   -73.54    490  34

Most likely the Wiarton and Angleton decodes are corrupted messages, as the frequencies they use are both dominated by strong semi local signals.

Another way to look at the decoded data is with this graph, that shows the times that messages were received from each station (click to view full sized):

You can see the various times stations were decoded. There are cases where a single decode was received (just a thin line), which was possibly a garbled message. But there are also cases for DX stations where several messages in a row were received (a thicker line). It is quite improbable that many messages were garbled in a row, with exactly the necessary bit errors to change the ID of the station, but also preserve the parity word check.

It is interesting to observe how two stations on a given frequency will alternate reception, as one fades out and the other fades in.

A very preliminary beta version of this program, Amalgamated DGPS, is available for download for those who wish to try it. It is only for Mac OS X, and requires I/Q recording files made in either the RF Space or Perseus format (and note that I have only tested with the former, the latter should work, but you never know). While there is no Windows version available at present, I may have one available shortly, so stay tuned!