Be patient. As you learn the radio
, and listen over time, you'll begin to hear things.
Propagation has been pretty lousy for a long time (bottom of the 11-year sunspot cycle), but there are occasional good days like today.
Try to limit your listening to just a few frequencies where you can learn about propagation.
The Waterway Net is a good place to begin. It begins with the weather at 0745 on 7268 lower sideband (LSB). Usually, Carolyn C6AGG in Nassau
reads the Bahamas weather, but she's got a very weak signal. After a few minutes, another station will come on and read the offshore
weather. This takes up time until about 0800. Whether you can copy the weather or not depends on propagation conditions, and the location of the station reading the weather. After that, the Net takes general traffic. Beginning at 0815, it takes position reports from boats. You'll hear boats all the way from New Brunswick Canada
to the Caribbean.
During the day, try the Maritime Mobile net on 14300 USB. It runs from about noon to about 5PM. Reception
will vary greatly from day-to-day, and even from hour-to-hour, as propagation conditions vary.
Next, try the Cruizheimer's Net. 8152 USB beginning at 0830, just after the Waterway Net closes. Again, you should hear boats checking in from Maine
, the Bahamas, and beyond.
Finally, try to catch the USCG weather broadcasts from Norfolk VA. They broadcast the High Seas weather and the Offshore
weather several times a day on several different frequencies. The schedule is on the Web.
Get your antenna as high as you can. It doesn't have to be horizontal. One end tied to an upper window or chimney will help. Better, get one end up in a tree, and as much in the clear as you can.
USB and LSB: Single-sideband signals can be either Upper Sideband or Lower Sideband. Almost all signals except ham transmissions on the 40m and 80m bands are USB. What does this mean? There's a carrier signal which is transmitted on the designated frequency, like 7268 kHz. Intelligence (voice) is overlaid on this carrier, either above it (USB) or below it (LSB). The carrier itself is suppressed. That's why SSB is properly called Single
Sideband Suppressed Carrier. Your radio likely has a switch so you can listen either to USB or LSB signals.
In theory, if there were two stations on the same frequency, e.g., 7268 kHz, one transmitting on the lower sideband (LSB) and the other on the upper sideband (USB), you could listen to either one perfectly intelligibly by switching from LSB to USB, all while leaving the dial on 7268.
Hope this helps...gotta run...wife needs a lift
from the Metro :-)