Happy Thanksgiving from C. Crane

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C. Crane wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

We are closed Thursday the 23rd and Friday the 24th to enjoy some time with our friends and families. Our website is open for orders at www.ccrane.com. We will re-open our customer service and tech support Monday November 27th.

All Great Stories Start Small

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Almost a year ago a perfect I LOVE Radio t-shirt and a funny clay radio arrived in a box from a young friend of Bob Crane’s. He had sent her an entrepreneur kit a few months previously but never expected to hear back. The shirt expresses why radio (all types) is great for Bob and millions of others. Nielsen (whose job it is to find out), recently announced “more people (higher numbers), listen to radio than watch TV or consume content on smartphones.”….. our staff picked the t-shirt graphic for this year’s cover over several other designs.

From Bob: “I love radio” is such a strong belief it caused me to think about why I feel this way. One clear minded morning it dawned on me that radio is just an electronic extension of what has been going on for thousands of years and it will continue for thousands more. Radio is oral history, it’s storytelling, it is the best way for most of us to receive information because we’re wired for it. A good radio show might have music, though provoking content and maybe a bit of comedy….probably like it has been for thousands of years.

The t-shirt and radio were made by a wonderful girl name Asia Bell…..maybe you’ve heard of her father…Art?

We are donating $1.00 from each t-shirt sale towards Asia Bell’s future to encourage her budding entrepreneurship.

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We hope you proudly sport your I LOVE Radio T-shirt. If you’re active on social media, please post an image of you wearing your shirt and please tag C. Crane to be featured on all our Social Media outlets to spread the word.

Tell us why you love radio and be entered to win one of the new C. Crane I Love Radio t-Shirts and our new pen and notepad! Drawing to be held 11/30. Please only one entry per person.

 

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What in the World is SSB? Part 1

Single Sideband is a very different source of live audio and it is not on any radio you probably own, or your smartphone!

SSB (Single Sideband) is an obscure but very important way to communicate via radio. It is used primarily for two-way voice communication by ham radio operators, aircraft and air traffic control (ATC), ships at sea, military and spy networks. Occasionally some shortwave broadcast stations use this format. A lot of interesting and sometimes exciting talk goes on every day on these bands. Here is what you need to know to get started listening to this special method of radio communication.

A Radio Receiver is Only As Good as the Antenna Attached to It

While the Skywave SSB receiver is very sensitive and works quite well on the attached whip antenna, more signals can be received and signal strengths boosted by attaching a longer wire such as the included CC SW Reel Antenna or an outdoor antenna. The one drawback with attaching a wire to the Skywave SSB is that noise from things such as computers, fluorescent lights, fish tanks, etc., may actually make listening more challenging because the noise can block signals or make it very hard to receive them.

You will have to experiment to find the best location for both the radio and any external antenna. Generally speaking, the higher and further away from noise generating electrical devices you can place the external antenna, the better. Obviously, you also want to keep any external antenna far away from power lines both for noise and safety reasons.

If you are in a brick or concrete and steel building, the best reception will almost always be near a window. That goes for receiving signals on AM, FM, Weather Band, and AIR band, too.

Additional Tips for SSB Listening

Single sideband can be either UPPER (USB) or LOWER (LSB). You need to know which sideband is used by a given service to be able to listen properly, so make sure your Skywave SSB is set to the correct sideband.

Daytime Listening: During the daytime most activity will normally be on the higher frequencies like 10-30MHz (30, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meter ham bands). The exception is that you will often hear stations within 600 miles or so on 40 meters (7-7.300MHz) in the daytime, especially on weekends and holidays when more hams are on the air.

Nighttime Listening: At nighttime, the 80 meter (3.500-4.000MHz) and 40 meter (7000-7300 KHz) ham bands are normally full of activity in North America. 20 meters (14000-14350 KHz) may also be in use, depending on the radio conditions that day.

For Ham radio listening (Amateur Radio Operators), tune in the LSB on the 160, 80 and 40 meter ham shortwave frequency bands and USB on the 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meter bands. Please see the Ham Radio frequency chart on the last page.

For aviation listening use USB. See the link in the last page for high frequency aviation frequencies to try.

The University of Alabama has a great website on what ham bands are currently active at http://dxdisplay.caps.ua.edu/.

Use the scanning feature of the Skywave SSB and scan the SSB Band and tune around to see what you can hear.

After tuning in a frequency, use the fine tuning adjustment on your Skywave SSB to help fine tune the frequency you are trying to listen to and achieve the most natural sounding voice.

Keep log notes of frequency, time, call sign and USB/LSB format for future reference.

Signal levels can change (and often do) from day to day on SSB/shortwave. A station you can hear loudly one day, might be weak or unreadable the next day. So, don’t be surprised or disappointed if you can’t hear your favorite frequency on a given day. They may be loud and clear tomorrow.

Applying the tips and information we have shared here will help you get the most out of your Skywave SSB radio. Beyond these, you can get more help by checking Google™, Bing™ or other search engines on the Internet.

Happy listening and 73s, (Ham jargon for Best Regards)!

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Thank You for Protecting Our Freedom

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We want to take a moment to honor anyone who has served or who is currently serving in our U.S. Military. Everyone here at C. Crane is so grateful for your service and the freedoms that it protects.

These words from Coulby Dunn’s Veterans Day speech Nov 7, 2007 will hopefully give you pause in your thoughts surrounding Veterans Day and their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families. You can read the full transcript here.

….Let us never forget… that we cannot rightfully celebrate the joy of our freedom… without remembering the great price paid for that freedom.

We stagger…. at the eternal debt we owe… to the untold number of American Veterans…who chose to set aside…their personal ambitions and dreams… to assure the well being of our great nation. We, the living….are indeed… the beneficiaries… of those who made tremendous sacrifices for the advancement and surety of our liberty.

For those soldiers who have stood guard in peacetime… and to those who have seen the 
terror, the horror and inhumanity of combat — and to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice – Let it be said that our soldiers have been there for America…. defending the Constitution of the United States…..

To all our veterans…. we have a simple yet heartfelt message — thank you – Thank you for your unwavering service in peacetime and war, here in this nation… and throughout the world….

Lastly…. I would like to talk about service to your country and community…… I have always felt it was an honor to serve my country and I continue to serve today….not in the military …. but in my community….. and all of you should be doing the same.

I know there are many mothers and fathers…… sitting in this gymnasium this evening….. where your services and talents are needed….I encourage all of you to volunteer your services to any number of endeavors …. Your church, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The Little League, the Parent Teachers Organization, your local fire company or ambulance association……. We can all make a difference in our community…. What better way can we as parents…… show our children how to live their lives…. than by serving others….

Please take a moment to ponder Mr. Dunn’s suggestions above about community service, and consider making time to thank a veteran or visit a memorial site.  Though not all of us are called to serve our country in the military, we can all serve our community in some way.