Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cheap Logitech PC Speakers make a Great 20 Meter SSB Receiver, at least a point-blank range.

I am using a borrowed Kenwood TS-440S, which has 100W power output, when maxed out, but I have been afraid to transmit for fear of blowing up the finals, which are connected to a pretty short mobile antenna.  Nevertheless, the antenna is amazingly well matched at 20 meters (but nowhere else) and after making triple sure I had everything set for low power transmission, I went out, and did the "is this frequency in use?" thing, and then called CQ for the first time ever, not expecting anybody to come back, and nobody did. You see, I had the transmitter dialed down to 5 watts.  And I'm glad I did, because the cheap logitech speakers in my office were rattling like a guitar-amp turned up to eleven. At five watts.  Of course, the transmitting antenna is less than 6 feet away from those speakers, and they have no ferrite chokes anywhere in their design.   I believe this is known as audio-rectification.  If 5 watts does that, then surely audio rectification is going to occur on my home stereo speakers as well, which will be spooky for anybody else in the house.

And, I have a feeling I'm going to get to know my neighbors a little better, if they, like me, all have these cheap logitech speakers on their computers, with about 8 feet of antenna wire, I mean speaker cable, attached to them.   Maybe I'll just go on ebay now and order about 100 ferrite clip on chokes from China.

When I was a kid, I remember this happening because we lived across the streets from VE3ELN, Ernie Reynolds, growing up in London, Ontario.   I thought it was spooky and cool that the console stereo in our living room could have Ernie's duck-like SSB encoded voice coming out our speakers, when the stereo was unplugged from the wall and turned off.

Somehow I think the neighbors will be less impressed.

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