100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Discuss UK-based Radio outside the South East of England
e.g. Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds & Manchester
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FMEnjoyer
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100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by FMEnjoyer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:30 am

Just had an idea that if a large number of people set set up high quality little non sproggy PLL rigs in lofts gardens shed, hills, cars mobile and came on for 1 hour randomly. And I mean truly randomly, not at various times on a Saturday etc. I suspect it would make it both pointless and difficult to be tracked.

Non commercial
Your own favourite music played
Random hours

It would hugely reinvigorate the pirate scene and bring back that much missed excitement it needs. As far as listeners you do for the love, the anorak side of it for the broadcaster and listener.

Could be anything non presenter with just a station ID and favourite tracks played.

I am so bored of pirates I listen to small community stations as they are 10 x more interesting.

Any thoughts on this ?

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Albert H » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:47 am

It would be like the early days of land-based pirate radio in London. There was the "Helen Network" which was about a dozen stations on Medium Wave that all used the same frequency and would switch on and off each hour, so that the signals came from many parts of London, causing the lads from the Post Office (responsible in those days) all sorts of hassle.

The aerials MUST NOT be indoors - you lose 90% or more of your signal just warming up the roof tiles! There are plenty of simple and cheap to build aerials that don't look like the obvious dipole! One quick and cheap aerial I have used with great success at music festivals is the twin-lead Slim-Jim, hung from a tree. It's not too obvious, it's easy to install, costs next to nothing, and you can roll it up into your pocket for transportation!

We also need a good, reliable, easy to build PLL rig at a reasonable price. I'd be inclined to use a simple "at-frequency" design - FET oscillator, a couple of transistors to get enough drive, and then a 15 Watt Mitsubishi FET for the final. The PLL can be a PIC and a TSA5511 or whatever. It might also be worth including one of the cheap Chinese MP3 player modules in the rig, so that you can plug in a USB stick or an SD card with your one-hour programme pre-recorded on it.

It should be a "12V" rig, so that it can be run from a car battery or other rechargeable type. There should also be a timer facility and (perhaps) a real-time clock, so that the rig can be installed up a convenient tree or rooftop, and programmed to start and stop itself at the required time..... This would reduce the problem of going to collect a "hot" rig - you can wait a while when another site has taken over the frequency, then collect it in safety.

Done right, this could be a lot of fun!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by FMEnjoyer » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:47 am

Thanks for info. I am interested in a roll up slim jim. Even the rough starting dimensions for FM would be good. Presumably lowest down the band would result in the longest antenna. I suspected you would be interested Albert. I think it is a shame there seems to be little traction.

I suppose many want the call ins and audience of a big station. I like the idea of a quick connection and vanishing, much more mysterious and at truly random hours. And also 100 times more interesting. A low power PLL on for an hour is not going to hurt anyone, even the authorities needs to be sensible about things. And rig theives would not get a chance to locate it either.

If anything it is a type of exciting yet sustainable radio for modern times.

If I could turn on and hear 1 or 2 responsible locals playing totally different music for an hour each hour that would be a lot of fun.

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Albert H » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:11 pm

As I said - done right, with some co-ordination and planning, it could be a great way of minimising equipment losses whilst maximising the audiences. You'd need to choose a couple of frequencies for everyone to use, so that the listeners would know where to look. This should be easy to achieve. There would have to be a "gentleman's agreement" that no big, high power station is going to grab either of the frequencies for themselves.....
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by teckniqs » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:27 pm

Albert H wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:47 am


The aerials MUST NOT be indoors - you lose 90% or more of your signal just warming up the roof tiles! There are plenty of simple and cheap to build aerials that don't look like the obvious dipole! One quick and cheap aerial I have used with great success at music festivals is the twin-lead Slim-Jim, hung from a tree. It's not too obvious, it's easy to install, costs next to nothing, and you can roll it up into your pocket for transportation!

I saw something like this a few years ago, it was made out of the (domestic FM 'T' dipole) transparent cable with the large clear plastic gap between the two copper wires and I was told it was a fold up slim jim.

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by yellowbeard » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:21 pm

Here is a calculator for slim jim/J-Poles with details on constructing them out of twin feeder if anyone wants to play:
https://m0ukd.com/calculators/slim-jim- ... alculator/
Do we need a thread on the technicalities of this?

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by house-every-weekend » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:34 pm

I tried a slim jim made from 300 ohm feeder once slung from a tree, it got out terribly. You need a proper dipole put at the top of the tree mounted up there

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Albert H » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:39 pm

house-every-weekend wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:34 pm
I tried a slim jim made from 300 ohm feeder once slung from a tree, it got out terribly. You need a proper dipole put at the top of the tree mounted up there
You didn't do it right! I used to use a roll-up Slim-Jim with a 10 Watt battery-powered rig up a couple of hills where I used to live. I had reports from up to 35 miles away.

When I was a student, there were several of us that used to run little 1 or 2-hour weekly stations, with the programmes coming off cassette players. I used to do 2-hours using a car auto-reverse cassette deck which switched off the rig when it came to the end of the second side of the tape. The next station would be listening to my shutdown, and would fire up their rig..... Between us all, we used to get about 36 hours broadcast from Saturday afternoon through to Sunday night.
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Polecat » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:32 pm

This thread generated some interest but then went quiet. Anyone hear any randoms out there?
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Re: RE: Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Polecat » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:30 am

yellowbeard wrote:Here is a calculator for slim jim/J-Poles with details on constructing them out of twin feeder if anyone wants to play:
https://m0ukd.com/calculators/slim-jim- ... alculator/
Do we need a thread on the technicalities of this?
Thanks yellowbeard. I made a slim jim using 300ohm ladder line. It was fun and frustrating in equal measure but now it's finished I'm happy I did it.

I didn't have the velocity factor for the ladder line and vf has a big impact on antenna dimensions. So even though I guessed close (.78 vs .81) it was enough of a difference to put the antenna wildly out of tune.

I got there eventually though and I'm very happy with the finished product. SWR is 1:1.1 and performance is impressive, particularly for something that rolls up like a mic lead.

For anyone else embarking on this project, make sure you have the precise vf spec for your ladder line before you start!
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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by NTRRadio » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:32 am

Albert is right - I've been looking in to discrete FM for ages now and the Slim Jim is the way to go. I've managed to cover an impressive area with one of these and with low wattage, much more than any dipole could due to the lack of DB gain it has. I stole my idea from an American Amateur called N9TAX he sells the slim jim portable, which is just a J-Pole design made from Ladder Line. I just make my own, making sure its cut to length for the frequency. It's the most efficient antenna I've ever used, pisses over any dipole and does not look like an antenna.

Check out his info here. http://n9tax.com/Slim%20Jim%20Info.html

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Albert H » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:10 am

Here's a useful tool:

https://m0ukd.com/calculators/slim-jim- ... alculator/

One thing to note - it's NOT good to put the antenna inside a loft - you'll lose 90% of the signal, especially when the roof is wet!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: 100's of small loft, garden, shed random 1 hour stations ?

Post by Polecat » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:42 am

I used that calculator Albert. And I noticed the rain effect as I tuned my slim jim during one of the recent storms here!
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