It seems that I can not be without my radios (sdrs..) although I tried that more than a year now. Anyway all my best wishes to all who might be wandering here... As far as I see now after almost 1,5 years of inactivity of dxing, a lot of changes has been done lately and the bands seems to be a bit different in Europe.
Currently, I have an ALA1530 at my urban QTH and no antennas at the King`s Village QTH, but hope to see some improvements before the next dx-season (sometimes in August/Sept.).
Long time no updates. That is mostly due to the quite poor conditions at least at my DX-qth! I did manage to get my BOG-LWOG (at about 45 degr. - 300 m wire on the wet ground) working after all, but very few new stations have been logged so far. And as I have my Net-SDR working unattended there are always risks to stop recordings when the electric power is down - and usually that happens during a bit better conditions. Actually a few new Chinese stations were heard and one new Philippino for me in November - DZAR Sonshine Radio Manila 1026. This channel has been rather hard as the powerfull Iranian station seems to dominate. But generally at least in December so far the conditions have been rather poor compared to earlier seasons the last one-two-three years. But hopefully things are going to be better later on, lets hope so. And there is almost nothing to tell about Trans Atlantic reception as the antenna installations (a longwire) seems to have some problems too.
Today at 23:03 UTC is the Winter Solstice 2014, so the Northern Winter is about to begin! Only some snow so far but the weathermen says there will be some during the next few days. I wish also a Happy New Year 2015! 73,tk
This year I hope to publish some updates every now and then instead of the "station of the month" posts. That´s mainly due to the fact that not so many new station has been heard this season. Also I have less time for the hobby at least for the time being. These updates will focus mainly on the highlights of DXing or other related activities.
I was able to continue my Far East listening only in January when my "antenna field" finally had frozen! There was actually a small lake during the end of 2013! Anyway I put a wire of about 250 laying first under the snow and ice which has now all disappreared. Some interesting catches were made actually during this period, mainly from the South East Asia and Australia. The western hemisphere has been rather poor this season, mainly because of some problems with my longwire antenna. Hopefully it will be fixed for the next season. I have also concentrated to record only a small spectrum of MW-band, mostly 1200-1400 and 1600-1700 (X-band Australia) this season.
January 2014 - A couple of new Thai-stations
These were heard on 1323 (Thor Or) and 1350 (Phon Neung Ror. Or., Bangkok) - this one seems to be always on 1349.989. Thailand seems to be best heard around 2100 utc.
February 2014 - The Philippines and some X-Aussies
In the beginning of February a couple of openings to the South East Asia - Australia were noted. Around 1300 kHz stations like DXAB 1296, DYSI 1323, DWUN 1350 and DXCR 1386 were noted with good signals. It seems DXAB 1296 is now operating very near the nominal 1296.00 (it used to be on around 1295.97 some years ago). La Radyo Verdad 1350 was heard with good strength like DXCR 1386 - I have never heard it with so nice signal (a clip can be heard on the clips section). And what´s more a station on 1322.944 was also identified - there has been a carrier earlier also. It was heard now with morning programs with IDs like "Hope Radio Philippines". And after a while the station was found from the web as well: DXHR Hope Radio Philippines Radio Operated by the Seventh-day Adventist, broadcasting from Butuan City, Caraga Region! The conditions were interesting - no the usual China-QRM, instead only a heavy QRM from DYSI (1323.00) was noted!
Also in February a nice opening to Australia was noted on X-band. There was a station or more on nearly all X-band channels: 1611 (Vision) , 1629 (AM1629 Newcastle), 1638 (2ME Arabic), 1656 (VAC, Chinese), 1674 (Vision, on 1674.04), 1683.23 Greek Radio, 1701 (Catholic, Arabic) & Brisvaani.
March 2014 - Indonesia on MW
Indonesian stations are not so rare to be captured in the Arctic or in Northern Finland. However for the first time for me in the South Coast of Finland a RRI was heard (actually first time in February and later several times in March around the c/d) with rather nice signal: RRI Tanjung Pinang 1341. On March 15th the station was heard during the closing down ceremonies ("Rayuan Pulau Kelapa"), first a vocalist version and after that the well known guitar version during the closing announcement at 1700 UTC. At the same time there was also a Radio Thailand station with the sign off (the typical seremonies with "bells" and the anthem) at 1702 UTC.
This frequency 1470 has been a classical channel to check the reception conditions indeed and gives almost always something. As there are stations from from almost every corner of Latin America it is easy to check the reception conditions - as far as someone is really "listening live".
During Autumn the Peruvian station from Lima has been almost the easiest one here but like many years, in November - December the signal paths move to the Northern routes.
Radio Fórmula was heard a couple of times also this year in November and December with IDs like "Rádio Fórmula 14-70" so the program seems to be for this channel and not a Network one (or the ID was just during a local break?).
Anyway this is now a station for both November and December. The fact is that there has been rather poor period for DXing during the last few months - practically no new stations heard! That´s partly because of the reception conditions and partly due to several problems with equipment (hardware and software) and weather (strong winds with electric power downs for hours at the qth).
KING´S VILLAGE DX WISHES ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!
Sometimes Peruvian stations have good signals also in October - usually the best conditions have been earlier in September or August. Also this year RPP Radio Programas del Perú was audible several times on 1140 kHz. In the exact frequency is above the nominal (1140.25) which makes this one rather easy, although using simple antennas means also heavy interference from the European channel 1143.
Anyway it was nice to hear (again) this one. Actually, very few new catches this fall - partly due to unlucky listening (recording) sessions and maybe also due to the conditions which were a bit better last season.
According to several sources the location of the transmitter here should be Pilcomayo.
Thanks to JHY and MR who informed abut this (JHY logged this first already in August) I did some serious monitoring around this channel. As I had (and still have) only a tiny KAZ-type antenna it took a few days and surely some better conditions were needed to pick this one. At last on September 8th in the evening the station was heard with the official sign on announcement at 21.00 UTC.
It seems this is not as easy to get anyway as this was the only time with good audio from the station. It seems the station starts it´s broadcast day usually just before 2100 utc like many other stations in the Philippines. The carrier is very easy to recognize starting on 1386.009 and decreasing a bit after that as the tx warms up. Another station which is pretty easy to get a bit later is the Bangkok station "Kaan Kaset" with the sign on around 22 utc. This one is usually on 1386.003-4 and the carrier frequency increases very quickly 1-2 Herz after the tx starts. In September conditions in the evening has been favourable to Northern Far East as the Korean HLAM has often been the dominant signal on the channel (and sometimes NHK Japan when it starts the day at 20.55).
This channel 1386 is pretty interesting now as there are no more big European interference letting those far away signals to come in.
All the best to the personnel of DXCR Hope Radio at the Mountain View College, Valencia City, Bukidnon, The Philippines!
It is no wonder that this one is the station of the month. It is always nice to have a new DX-target in South America. Furthermore this has been the easiest Argentinian to be heard on mw thanks to its high frequency. Also the conditions towards Argentina (as well as Brazil) are usually favourable in the begining of mw-season in August.
Actually something was heard already during the PUDXK10-year-celebration meeting on August 3rd, but the signal was a bit weak to identify. Later on the signal improved and the staion was audible several nights around 0200 utc on 1670, the exact frequency being very stable on 1670.005 kHz.
The station has a web-page also with chat possibility - it seems there was some chat also from the Nordic listerners as well on the page. You can also listen to the programs via the web page: http://www.radiorubi.com.ar/.
Saludos cordiales a Radio Rubí!
PS: A few interesting splits noted in August like 1589.93 Brazil, 1599.805 - according the program content & frequency this should be the Chilean Nuevo Tiempo - best signal August 29th.. Other splits like 1600.085 (this was audible also in spring), 1469.83 (Record now here), 1479.965 Brazil, 1540.435 Santa Mauro Brazil c/d around 0230(+-).
The Seven Sleepyheads!
This year we had the "full team" of seven to celebrate 10 Years of the PUDXK-team - although some members of the original team were not able to join us this year - yet we had a largest n:o of participants staying the whole meeting. PUDXK-team was started exactly about 10 years ago at the King´s Village QTH (3rd August 2003).
The picture below shows all participants this year - from the right: HN, JPR, LN, MKA, JVA, TUA and TK (toasting to the 10-year anniversary).
A new DX-conditions prediction tool!
The latest dx-conditions prediction tool showing Coronal Holes has been found - originally the old smoker for fish - which served as a smoker for about the last two Sunspot-cycles. As we could notice the hole was very near as where it was at the Sun at the same time (CH n:o 577).
Traditional dishes consisted of Smoked Salmon (&fresh boiled potatoes) with Melon-ham-salad on Thursday and a nice Marbled Steak (& baked tomatoes) with Greek salad (tnx MKA, LN) on Friday evening - and not to forget a nice starter of a Finnish "breadcheese" with coldsmoked salmon & pesto on the top of it!. Thanks to MKA, HN etc we had remarkable nice wines brought from Germany (like good Franken & Riesling wines with Salmon). The usual "Sunspotpie" was served later on (homemade blueberry pie with vanilla souce).
King´s Village-QTH goes FM!
Finally we had the possibility to erect the FM-antenna on Friday and thanks to JVA the SDR-systems were put into operation with a Dientronik downconverter hooked up to the NetSDR-receiver (and SDR-console software). Unfortunately the Es-cx were down on Friday. Thanks to JVA&MKA the FM-antenna was erected onto the 6 m mast at the QTH. Future plans includes a taller mast & maybe a larger Yagi for FM. We are looking forward to the next summer "FM-dx-camp" with more FM-reception development; lets see...
The seven sleepyheads or ?
After a visit to Lovisa on Friday another six members trying to join at the meeting were met at the Kungsböle village center (near the old museum house from the 1800th centure) - they were joined by one of our members to make the full team of seven! Actually these guys try to show the way to the Culture Road of Western Kymi (Länsi-Kymen kulttuuritie). This road starts at Abborfors and goes thrue Strömfors, Kungsböle and Elimäki. As we know radiohobbies & DXing is part of the culture as well. More about the 34 km route can be found here: http://www.kulttuuritielle.fi/index.html.
We did not forgot to listen to AM of course!
Some AM-dxing were done as well - although the majority of the team members were sleeping like sleepyheads - but the NetSDR did the listening (NetSDR & 100m longwire). Afterwards some Brazilians were noted, Radio Povo 1560, Independencia 1440 and Restauracao 1590 among others (3rd August around 01.30z). Later on some signals from Radio Rubi 1670 were found (actually very weak during the meeting, however improving the next nights after that) and a Brazilian on 1550 (a new one for this QTH) "a Nova Radio Jardim da Borborema 1550" - this seems to have a new name now, maybe a new owner as well?
The circle is now closed - this season 2012-13 started with a Bolivian last August and now we are back with Bolivians in May 2013. Indeed the conditions favour Bolivia particularly in May as many years. This time one of the strongest station which was widely heard not even in Finland but in other Nordic countries on the very same morning: May 9th. There were a couple of other signals noted also in May - some of the strongest were on 1520.05, 1440, 1550 and 1580.5. A few others were noted as well. In fact the station was audible even at my home urban QTH with moderate signals using an ALA100 antenna (3x7 meters) and a SDR-IQ-receiver!
This station has been one of the easiest since some time probably due to transmitter power increase or new antennas. In fact the same program was noted also on 1480 and as far as I know there are several transmitters on 1480 now.
It is my pleasure to name "Radio Bendita Trinidad" to the station of May at my DX-QTH!
To get a new station from Peru is always nice. Actually it seems that new MW-stations appears quite often in Peru - nice as the trend in Europe is to close the stations (which is of course good for us hunting the real dx!). Anyway it was a surprise to capture this one. First it sounded this could be Lima (Radio Fé) but soon there was an announcement "...desde Cusco" which made me listening to it more intensively - and indeed they were saying "Radio Universidad 1220 Aplitud modulada". That made me to look at the WRTH and there it was really. Never heard about that before. Thanks to Henrik K. who also verified the ID. The station was heard also by PUL in Finland at the same time, but I have not seen any other logs in Finland. Thanks for info from Sweden: SIM & FD have heard the station in February 2013. It seems that the station has not been on AM for a very long time.
Well, although the conditions were good to the West (Latin America) some morgings in March and not so good to the Far East this month´s station is of the country currently in the focus: Korea. The MBC - Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation has been noted on several MW-channels during the last years and it is one of the latest stations audible in late spring. That is possible as the best frequency (1386, HLAM Mokpo) is open late and there is an interference free window around 17-18 UTC. During the last years MBC has been noted at my DX-QTH on
half a dozen channels, some of them only once during 2009-2010: 774, 819, 855, 900, 990, 1080, 1107, 1242, 1287 and 1386. The Mokpo station 1386 is really the easiest one of these. All the stations have usually their own IDs prior the top of the hour with a well know interval signal tune. Some of them also gives their callsigns (H-L--) as well.
When I was active collecting QSLs I did send a report (in Korean in fact) to the 1107 station (HLAV, which was on 1110 during the old frequency plan of Asia) I got also a nice QSL and a pennat/standard of the station.
An example of the audio of 1386 will be in my clip-collection later on.
station in South America is always a challenging
DX-target. When I got the information that a new Peruvian on 5980 was heard by TN (Sweden) in January I did some
IQ-recordings with my SDR-IQ at home where the local man made noise is pretty
bad. I did got something which I first thought to be the Brazilian on the
frequency. Later on I was told that it was not active now, so this could have
been R Chaski as well. I heard some speech before 23 UTC. Unfortunately I
deleted the IQ-recording later on. In February I did some recordings around
2230-2300 utc and indeed there was a religious “bible reading” programme which
later on was identified to be a daily (mon-fri) Bible programme of Radio Chaski.
And finally when I realized to make a recording at about 01 UTC the closing
announcement of the station was heard. Later on around 0100 there was the whole closing
ceremony with the ID (with an instrumental version of a religious hymn also known in Finland – in English “What a Friend we have in Jesus”) and some speech &
music until the c/d 0107. Later in March it seems the station has done
something to the closing ceremonies (or the clock) as it seems to be closing
down around 01.00…01.01 and it is audible not so long after the interfering big stations on the frequency. The IQ-analysis in March
shows the carriers of the stations on the channels: Radio Chaski starting the evening
transmissions after 22 utc (sometimes around 2210-2215 later on around 22 which
is 17 utc), after 2300 BBC until 2400 and after 00 usually CRI (and another station´s
carrier) and finally after 01 R Chaski for a while until the close down. A
picture of the analysis below (on March 4-5). Thank´s to Bruce Madduxof the organization behind the
station for a picture of the transmitter
and a view to Urubamba from the antennas of
& Thanks to the personnel of Radio Chaski Peru !
Sometimes on some frequencies the situation changes - previously dominating stations just fades away making room to new ones. Usually this is due to the new transmitters or antennas, sometimes it just happens. Anyway the situation on 1190 changed a bit in January. During conditions to Orinoco - Colombia, usually it is the Colombian Radio Cordillera here or sometimes Puerto Rico. But at least at my QTH during January and February the Táchira station has been dominating the channel pretty often. Something has been changed here as well - maybe the station started 24 h transmissions now. According to the station (thanks Pekka-PEH for info and the studio picture from the engineer at the station, Mr. Ramirez Chacon). He tells us also that the power is just now 4 kW and normally 12 kW. The transmitter is a Nautel XLR-12. Usually the station announces "La Cultural, Potencia Radial del Táchira" although it has several variations of the announcement. Although the web page seems to be under construction, you can listen to the program just activating the page: http://www.radioculturaldeltachira.com/home/
Lets see if conditions are still favouring this one or should we get the usual change towards the Andies when the Peruvian above the nominal will be heard as often after the spring equinox.
Saludos Cordiales y Gracias a Sr. Ramirez Chacon & La Cultural del Táchira!
In November-December a Latin American station below the 1200 kHz channel was noted and it seems the split was a new one or I had not noted it anyway earlier. Finally when I got some audio it seemed there was a Spanish station with talk programming around 06-07 UTC and there was indeed some IDs at around 6 and 7 UTC. When I first listened to the clips it all sounded something like "Radio U" which was something like (maybe) "U Radio" from Ecuador. However, when HK checked the clips he immediatly answered to me "it is Cucú Radio"! Well, I had been looking only to the lists of South America and did not think it could be from Costa Rica as if I remember right I have never got anything from Costa Rica on medium waves ! Anyhow, the id seems to be "Radio Cu Cú - tu Radio"!
Since then the station seems to be there fairly often at least with the carrier visible (and some sudio also in January). This is a bit hard channel during good conditions as there a other stations usually also and La Voz de la Raza from Colombia on 1200.17 makes sometimes a big het here. Cucú has been on 1199.880 so LSB has to be used when listening to it.
Thank You Henrik once again for the work with this one. The station seems to have a web-page but unfortunately the audio stream is not working.
These were indeed interesting test transmissions organized by local radio hams and enthusiasts (check the link below). It was not that easy to hear in Finland and indeed almost impossible at my King´s Village DX-QTH 100 kms to the East of Helsinki. That´s because all my antennas pick up too much other interfering stations and Romania was on the top of the pile almost always.
However using my urban-DX-equipments (ALA100 3x7 meters + SDR-IQ) at home I was able to capture at least something although the local noise seems to be increasing al the time. The first attempt to hear the tests were on November 25 during the first transmissions. As the noise was high I tried to pick up a Morse-code ID but probably there were any as I could not hear these although the signal was clearly visible on 1313.995. It seems the carrier frequency was very stable after a one minute warm up (drifting only about 1 Hz at the beginning). Later on in Decemeber I made some recordings and when the Morse IDs were on they could make it through the local noise also! Also in December 26th the Piano-instrumental interval signal was captured. The distance to the TX was about 1065 kilometers. I think Bjarne Melde in Kongsfjord was the longest distance DXer to catch the station.
When playing a bit with Audacity-audio tool I found that almost all noise could be filtered away using the softwares noise filtering. You can compare the results by listening the clip below: first the original Morse-ID starting with "VVV..." and then a part of the clip filtered. And indeed by looking the software´s screen capture.You could also "read the code" as well. The clip from the box can be listened to by clicking this:
Hi! My ALA100-antenna seems to be on fire (1st Jan. 2013 00.03 local time - 22.03 UTC)!
PS: You can check what is happening and how winter / spring / summer is developing at the nearest market place of the King´s Village QTH (20 kms from the QTH) at Lovisa (Lovisa Town Hall Square) by clicking this: http://www.loviisansanomat.net/kamera.php
The bad predictions seems to be partly true when visiting the King´s Village QTH last night:
First of all the MW-band was almost totally down with all signals down (even the local St Peterburg powerhorses) by about -60....-80 dB! Maybe the geomagnetic field is going to reverse and the ionosphere will be gone forever ? Furthermore there was an accumulation of white stuff from the Heaven - now covering everything (40 cm deep). OK - the last item was snow and actually because of the snow my LWOG-BOG was cut right from the beginning of the wire - only about 1 meter left. This was fixed soon after some walk in deep snow...
But the Sun is gone for several days now (photos could be taken using the flash anyway) - How do we know it will rise tomorrow at all ?
As was written in some of the apocalyptic literature the "Land will be Frozen". It seems to be true anyway with the current temperatures down to about -20 centigrades...
Update will come tomorrow, if ...
I wish all readers a Happy Winter Solstice (21 Dec. 11.12 UTC)!
UPDATE 22 Dec:
Soon after Noon I could see the light! The clouds went almost away and the sun was "almost" there, not very high as the day was the shortest of the year - but it is there anyway.
In Southern Finland this year has been rather poor to Asia after some better conditions in September & October. However one day in the beginning of November was a bit better to the Philippines and I was a able to "listen live" a new catch for me: 630 DZMM Manila with its typical news and information programs. At the same time a couple of others were noted as well like 1160.9, 1314, 1350 and 1530. It seems by the way that the Manila station on 1242 is now on a higher offset: 1242.12.
DZMM 630 was audible only a while as the European QRM became too heavy on this channel. Anyway it was nice to get a new one from the Philippines after a while. It seems we have about a dozen to twenty stations "easily" audible during good propagation conditions even in the Southern part of Finland.
A hidden antenna - ready to go
Finally I was able to erect my Far East wire just prior to some new snow (accumulating now to about 10 cm). So it is nice to check if there are going to be any better conditions later on. The first snow with very heavy wind was noted at the QTH on November 30 (with no more than 4-5 electricity power downs of 1-4 hours each). The wire (about 300 metres @ 50 degrees) is now safely (?) under the snow, hopefully the small animals will not find it soon either. It seems this wire has better S/N compared to my delta-Flag/KAZ (with FLG100 amp.). That was noted when checked it by listening to a few Papua-NG stations on 90 mb: 3260, 3315, 3365 & 3385 were all audible at their s/on around 20.00 utc (Dec 3rd).
October this year was one of the worst dx-wise as the conditions were quite poor most of the month and improved only in the end of the month. There was, however an opening with some stations from Latin America on October 5th in the beginning of the month.
One of the stations on 1400 from South America is Radio Z-1 Guayaquil Ecuador. The dominant from the L.A. is usually from Peru - Super Radio Callao on 1400 (1399.996) but thanks to the offset of Radio Z-1 (it has been on 1399.94 several years) Z1 is audible also, sometimes with rather good strength. That was the case also on Oct. 5th this year.
A typical situation on 1400 can be seen on this picture showing the carriers of Z1, Radio Callao, Emissora Mariana Bogota and CBC among others (SDR-radio IQ-analysis 11 Nov.2012).
I have tried Radio Comas since a few years but only some tentative observations have been made during the local sunrise when BBC 1296 has always been transmitting on DRM and blocking the channel very effectively. Now in September as the channel is "free" again it was possible to hear Radio Comas Lima during a pretty good opening to Peru (on Sept. 28th). At the same time about a dozen common peruvians were heard as well, some of them with quite good signal as this one although it seemed there was another Andian station on the channel as well. Unfortunately no other new stations were identified although an intensive investigations were made also by Henrik Klemetz - Thank You HK! One of the UNIDs were on 1330 (a few Herz below) with an "ID" and s/off at around 04.10 utc (Sept. 28th).
Radio Comas was very easy on short waves back in 1990´s - the picture shows the building of Radio Comas (received with a written QSL in 1997).
DXing since 1970. More active with QSLs&reporting back in 1970´s-80´s, now active in listening on MW (Asia-Pacific, Latin America).
This blog will focus on DXing at King´s Village QTH and related activities.
Contact info: tk (dot) sdxl (dot) org