Thursday, March 14, 2019
Jose Jacob from Hyderabad, India has collected QSL from 132 different stations of All India Radio over a period of 42 years. Radio Stations ranging from Short wave, Medium wave,FM to the latest DRM mode. In the process he has achieved the feat of creating an Indian Record of collecting maximum number of QSL of different stations of a radio broadcasters in India.
As a teenage Jose started listening to radio and started to write to stations way back in 1973, when in his school days. Few years later in 1976 he first wrote All India Radio, when his reception report was first verified with a QSL. Over next 42 years, he has used various mediums, ranging from inland letters, post cards to emails, for sending reception report. Currently he has over 2500 QSL from 130 different countries, many of which left the airwaves.
Over the years, with his special interest in All India Radio, he is one key country contributors, from India, of World Radio TV Handbook updating about All India Radio to the directory of global broadcasting.
Jose Jacob, is also a licensed amateur radio operator with call sign VU2JOS currently serving as Asst. Director at the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NAIR) www.niar.org
As a teenage Jose started listening to radio and started to write to stations way back in 1973, when in his school days. Few years later in 1976 he first wrote All India Radio, when his reception report was first verified with a QSL. Over next 42 years, he has used various mediums, ranging from inland letters, post cards to emails, for sending reception report. Currently he has over 2500 QSL from 130 different countries, many of which left the airwaves.
Over the years, with his special interest in All India Radio, he is one key country contributors, from India, of World Radio TV Handbook updating about All India Radio to the directory of global broadcasting.
Posted by Babul Gupta at 6:29 AM
Thursday, February 21, 2019
We traveled in three cars: the two cars with most of the gear and eight Dxers started from Kolkata early morning after gathering at 6 am at my Jodhpur Park residence. Debanjan drove a Baleno with Subhendu Das, Sandipan Basu Mallick & his xyl Upamita. The good old Ambassador was driven by me with Babul Gupta, Pradip Chandra Kundu and Sudipta Ghose as passengers
with accessories like folding table for outdoor Dxing, tent, grounding
rod tucked up in the carrier and of course the receivers and reels
and reels of copper wire for long wire antenna. The other Maruti car followed later after Alokesh Gupta and C.K.Raman flew down from Delhi and joined the new participant Kallol Nath who was navigator while C.K.Raman drove the car from 9.30 am onward. The stretch of road from kolkata was excellent for most of the Gangasagar Mela which brings in lakhs and lakhs of devoties to the Sagar Island which was very close to where we were travelling. Travelling on the Saraswati Puja day, the streets were teeming with brightly clad boys and girls sporting their dresses in shades of yellow and we were a lucky to catch the ferry crossing bit before the crowd at around 10.30 am.
This was probably the last time we would be crossing the ferry at River Hatania Doania at Namkhana because the massive girder bridge is almost nearing its completion and we would soon be drive down direct to Bakkhali in three and a half hours.
The first Dxers were at Bakkhali by 1 pm and after finishing the lunch at the West Bengal Government Tourist Lodge settled at Henry Island. This time the personnel at the Fisheries Resort quickly remembered us and were familiar with the "crazy bunch of radio listeners" who string wires all over the resort. The resort had expanded with more bamboo fencing which would serve as our antenna supports and besides there were plenty of bamboo of all
shapes and size lying around to help us to support the antenna which ever way we wanted. In two hours we had two beverages of 200 meters strung and a PA0RDT whip antenna put up. A room was promptly converted into a "shack". The second batch of three Dxers arrived a couple of hours later.
Part of the "development" of this resort was addition of LEDs over much of the area and one of our beverages traveled right past a brightly lit children park, in the process picking up much of the radio noise. In the coming days we put up two more beverages away from the light sources, one travelling north south and the other travelling east west. The surprise of this Dxped was the performance of the PA0RDT whip we performed consistently better then all of the beverages!!! A commercial Diamond dipole for two of the higher bands was also put up but with the propagation condition with zero sunspot number, there were only hardly any signals.
The Bay of Bengal Pirates which we have logging since our Mandarmani I Dxped days were very much there, more in numbers, and better in modulation. They were still operating between 1000 kHz and 1400 kHz and the odd ones were bellow 1000 kHz. One particular station at 1235 kHz appeared to have more power and transmitted all night. A couple of them had harmonics around 2000 kHz. Now that we had three Perseus and one Airspy SDR, the entire broadcast band of the Pirates were recorded. We are still baffled about their exact location and the revenue model of the pirates because these transmissions appeared to carry very little commercials.
The change in program content was the appearance of the local Bengali "Disco" beat song with heavy bass. The radio theaters called "Yatra" in local parlance and the odd request program were there. A couple of stations broadcast their mobile telephone numbers too!!!
Babul Gupta, who is really hooked on to Hamsphere set up his station with the call sign: IOHS/AS153 and soon made a number of contacts all over the world in his "virtual" amateur radio. Hamsphere apparently recognizes Henry's Island as an island even though by actual geography it is a piece of land separated from the mainland by a creek with a short connecting road bridge. Nevertheless, there was considerable interest in the Hamsphere community over logging.
This allowed me an opportunity to try out listening from a beverage far away from any light source. I strung a 250 mts long wire away from the leds and set up my ICOM R75 with battery at one end. The result in the first hour of listening were brilliant with a number of long wave stations coming in. The best was Polskei Radio at 255 kHz at around 1800 hrs UTC but Algeria was also loud and clear. However, during the second session of Dxing at around 2100 hrs UTC the propagation was so poor that barely need to put up the tent because the car was a convenient "shack" and the poles of the fisheries ground were the supports.
THE DX CATCHES AND SURPRISES - LOW FREQ AND MEDIUM WAVES
Philippines DZME 1530 kHz audible through 1300 to 2200 hrs UTC was the surprise because all of our earlier Philippines MW logging were in the short one hour window after they signed on at 2100 hrs UTC. Other Philippines logged around 2100 hrs was 666 kHz DZRH and 594 kHz DZBB. On 12th Feb 2019 PNG NBC Bongenville 3325 kHz coming in with clear audio and little QRM was probably the star of the Dxped and the other PNG NBC was logged on 3260 kHz with poor signals. Later on the same channel we could hear RRI Plangkarya. The sole Latin was Radio Club de Para 4885 kHz Brazil
which peaked to 333 signal level at 0130 hrs UTC. Solomon Island 5020 kHz with poor signals was noted signing off at 1300 hrs UTC. Japanese MW, which were the star of the first IDXCI Dxpeds at Chandipore in the mid eighties, again reappeared and quite a few of them were logged. The best was American Forces Radio at Okinawa on 648 kHz which was tricky to receive considering the all powerful AIR Kolkata 657 kHz splashing signals from adjacent channel. Other Japanese MW were 549 kHz JOAP and 1413 kHz JOIF. Indonesia Peninsula of Laos, Vietnam and loud and for the first time we could log Luang Prabahang 705 kHz and Khantabouly 585 kHz at around 2300 hrs UTC. Vietnam 675 kHz and 610 kHz with chant or excercise like music during sign on at 2145 hrs UTC. Cambodia Pnom Penh was clear 918 kHz around this time. Around 1500 hrs UTC we could log many of the Nepal MW from Kathmandu 792 kHz, Dhankuta 648 kHz and Pokhra 684 kHz. On the tropical bands, North Koreans stations were all there from Eco of Hope to the other.
THE SW CATCHES
With dwindling transmission in the SW the bands, some of the common stations of yesteryears are now becoming
rarities. Guiniea Conakry in French at 2110 hrs UTC on 9650 kHz logged by Pradip Kundu with his XHDATA and whip only was indeed a surprise. Other SW such as 9930 kHz WHR Korar Palau with religious program in English at 1530 hrs UTC, TWR Swaziland at 1530 hrs UTC on 9585 kHz, VOA Mopang Hill on 15580 kHz at 1545 hrs UTC, BBS Thimphu at 6035 kHz at 1530 hrs UTC kept the SW hopes alive. It was a pleasant surprise to hear V.O.Greece on 9420 kHz at 2100 hrs UTC both with strong signals.
FOR THE LAY PRESS
Sandipan had enthusiastically lined up a bit of coverage in lay press about our meet which coincided with the World Radio Day 13th February 2019. Write ups for the newspapers were finalized, photo shoot before the club banner was completed, audio clipping to be
mailed to Agartala, Tripura were done in rigged up studio and phone interview with journalists done. The efforts were successful. Two vernacular dailies in Kolkata covered our Dxped. Why are they important for Dxing? Pradip Kundu radio interview to be aired over AIR Agartala FM for World Radio Day and his write up appeared in the most circulated Tripura daily. These articales generate qquite a bit of public interest and many of our now active members were drawn by the artical on Dxing centered around the Chindipore Dxped which appeared in a popular children's magazine in early 90.
https://swling.com/blog/2019/02/page/2/SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
This Dxped had something for everyone. From the newcomer Kallol trying out different exotic loggings with his XEDATA to the expart C.K.Raman convarsant with all of the lower band frequencies to Babul Gupta with his
Hamsphere and Pradip Kundu in his more unassuming DX style of quiet listening sitting cross legged on bed with a portable and whip. For Subhendu Das, a professional commercial radio man it was different experience to see the amateurs and their interests at close hand. The Persueus brigade with C.K.Raman, Sudipta Ghosh and Dibanjan had their own approach to "waterfall" screen Dxing and Alokesh with his Airspy matched them. The PARDT whip brought by Alokesh turned out to be the hardware star. The non Dxers Upamita efficiently handled the exotic fooding of the Dxped. Sandipan who got interest in reading about IDXCI Dxped in the interest was organizing one himself this time and felt good that xyl Upamita was convinced that there were several other motivated Dxers around. Kallol a new comer to the hobby wanted some more SW experience and also would have like more session time in discussing the DX techniques.
One whole day our last Dxped in 2016 was washed off by local QRN. This time we had so many angle to our hobby from hardware to software that DX obstacles had no chance.
~ Supratik Sanatani (VU2IFB)
25th February, 2019
Supratik Sanatani - VU2IFB, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Sudipta Ghose - VU2UT, Baranagar, West Bengal.
Babul Gupta - VU3ZBG, Barasat, West Bengal.
Debanjan Chakraborty - VU3DCH, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Sandipan Basu Mallick - VU3JXD, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Subhendu Das - Kolkata, West Bengal.
Kallol Nath - Kolkata, West Bengal.
Pradip Chandra Kundu - Agartala, Tripura.
Alokesh Gupta - VU3BSE, Delhi.
C.K.Raman - VU3DJQ, Delhi.
Upamita - Kolkata, West Bengal.
Posted by Babul Gupta at 6:49 AM
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The IDXCI people are conducting dxpeditions since 80s. We consider dxpeditions as ultimate DXactivity. Recently, our friend in radio Gary DeBock, N7EKX of Puyallup, WA, USA went to Cook Islands for one such expedition. Gary has very kindly permitted us to post his Cook Island DX reports on the IDXCI blog. The report is still hot as it was completed last night only_________________________________________________________________________________
April 2018 Cook Island Ultralight DXpedition
Thrilling Long Range DX with "Frequent Flyer" Gear
By Gary Debock, Puyallup, WA, USA - June 2018
Introduction Two years ago a wacky new idea started to be brought into reality—the design of lightweight, airport-friendly FSL antennas that could provide serious gain boosts (and serious hobby excitement) for DXers on exotic vacations. The FSL antennas had already proven that they were the ultimate compact performers, but could they also somehow provide a major breakthrough in travel DXing results? If all of a DXer’s gear needed to fit inside hand-carry luggage and pass through multiple security inspections, exactly how much performance could a DXer expect on an exotic ocean beach far away from home?
After a couple of “warm up” trips to Kona, Hawaii, I was eager to give my “frequent flyer” DXing gear a “final exam” to answer this question—a 5 day visit to Aitutaki Island in the Cook group, about 2600 miles due south of Hawaii. This South Pacific location featured dazzling scenery, subtropical weather, good security and very friendly island residents. It had no MW transmitters anywhere within 164 miles (264 km)-- the closest one was 630-Radio Cook Islands in Rarotonga. It certainly seemed like the ideal “exotic ocean beach” venue to test out the lightweight gear, but little did I know that I was about to enjoy the most thrilling hobby experience I’ve ever had!
Somehow I managed to stumble across a superb sunrise propagation path for South and Southeast Asian reception, resulting in loggings of 657-
693-Bangladesh, 918-Cambodia and 1431-Mongolia—all at over 6,800 miles (10,950
km). As if that wasn’t enough, the same propagation path ignored Japan almost
completely. Usually around sunset I was doing my best to convince my wife that
the main reason for this trip was to celebrate our anniversary (despite the
somewhat different reality), so most of the sunset time was devoted to beach
walks, Polynesian dinners and the like. That didn’t stop long range stations
like 1000-Radio Record in Sao Paulo, Brazil
(7,072 miles/ 11,380 km) from showing
showing up a couple of hours later, though, along with multiple North American stations. The ocean-boosted propagation seemed to be phenomenal from sunset to sunrise, to the point where almost any low-powered
station was capable of pounding in at S9. The entire experience was an
unforgettable hobby thrill for a North American DXer using very basic
equipment—and it obviously proved that this new niche of travel DXing has a lot
of excitement to offer! New Zealand
TRAVEL TO THE COOK ISLANDS Although Aitutaki and Rarotonga islands are in a fairly remote part of the Southern Hemisphere, they are actually in the same time zone as Hawaii, so any jet lag from the west coast is minimal. Air
flies weekly from New Zealand
to Los Angeles Rarotonga in a 9 1/2 hour overnight trip,
and the service and food on our flight was excellent. The Cook Islands have a
subtropical climate with seasons opposite from those in the Northern
Hemisphere, so visitors should expect quite a bit more heat and humidity than
at home. The islands are administered by in a “free association”
agreement, and as such the Maori-speaking islanders are very friendly and
welcoming to visitors. New Zealand Rarotonga is the
largest island, and upon arrival at the airport visitors will pass through
immigration and customs, receive complimentary flower leis and bottled water, and
if they are staying on the island (as most do), proceed to their motels.
Our chosen destination of Aitutaki island is located 164 miles (264 km) north of Rarotonga, so we needed to board an additional Air Rarotonga flight of about 1 1/2 hours to the gorgeous island. Aitutaki is famous for a dazzling turquoise lagoon filled with a variety of beautiful tropical fish, and features many motels with convenient access to the lagoon. Because of its unique beauty it has the nickname of “
among the many Kiwi tourists. Most of the motels are on the northwest side of
the island right on the lagoon beach, with a straight salt water path to Asia,
the Pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia. DX reception from North and
South America is also quite good at these beaches, although the best sites
would probably be on the north and eastern sides of the island. During my stay
the security on isolated lagoon beaches seemed to be excellent, probably due to
the fact that most of the motels own these areas as part of their property, and
try to reserve them for tourists. The subtropical climate is ideal for growing
coconuts, bananas, guavas and the like, and fresh fruit is always in abundance.
Of course as a tourist you can expect to pay a premium for restaurant meals,
lagoon cruises and the like, but hobbyists who are primarily motivated to chase
rare DX from sunset to sunrise will have no problem minimizing expenses. One of
the quirks about visiting the Honeymoon Island Cook Islands is
that Air New Zealand requires visitors to have a confirmed motel reservation
before they can purchase a ticket—apparently because of some tourists who
thought that setting up tents on the beach would provide the ultimate travel
“FREQUENT FLYER” LIGHTWEIGHT DXING GEAR Both the 7.5 inch loopstick C.Crane Skywave SSB portable and the 5 inch (13 cm) TSA-friendly FSL antenna carried along for this trip had been used in previous transoceanic DXpeditions, and both are designed to fit easily within hand-carry luggage. Because of exceptional ocean-boosted propagation the modified portable was used alone for the North and South American reception, along with those for the Pacific islands,
New Zealand and Australia.
The 5” FSL antenna was used only to boost the Asian signals during the sunrise
sessions, although even then the modified portable typically could receive many
of the Asians all by itself. For this trip a 4 foot (1.3m) breakdown PVC base
was also carried along to elevate the FSL antenna right next to the salt water
edge, and this did seem to boost its performance somewhat. In comparison to
John Bryant’s 500 foot Beverage antennas at Easter Island during his 2007 trip
this was a very humble setup indeed, although the long range performance of
these lightweight DX chasers was about to be demonstrated in pretty convincing
Checking out transoceanic DX propagation at an exotic ocean beach site can provide the hobby thrill of a lifetime-- if a DXer is lucky enough to choose the ideal time, place and gear to make the chase. All of these fell into place in an amazing way during the 5 day trip to Aitutaki Island with Ultralight radio gear, resulting in the reception of MW stations in India, Bangladesh, Mongolia and Cambodia.
Because of extensive QRM from Australia and New Zealand the total number of Asian stations received was limited, but it was definitely a case of quality over quantity. Phenomenal propagation around sunrise shut down Japanese signals almost completely, but boosted up those from the exotic countries in east and south Asia. Korean station reception was limited to the big guns, which was also primarily true for Chinese signals. Except for the ANZ pest QRM, the conditions seemed custom-designed for a west coast DXer to go after the exotic stations which rarely-- if ever-- show up in BC, Washington or Oregon (even though the Cook Islands' distance to them is greater).
Ocean-boosted propagation at sunrise was strong enough to bring in both 693-Bangladesh and 1431-Mongolia at S9 levels almost every morning on my Ultralight gear, and allow both 657-AIR and 918-Cambodia to break through ANZ QRM on April 12th. No doubt many more of these exotic stations could have been logged except for Australian QRM on 576, 594, 872, 883 and 1566, but this only added to the thrill of the chase. The overall results were exceptional for a DXer using only a 7.5 inch loopstick Ultralight radio and 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL-- all designed to fit within hand-carry luggage, and easily pass through airport security inspections.
657 All India Radio Kolkata, India, 200 kW (8,075 miles/ 12,995 km) Recorded by accident during a sunrise check of the Korean big guns at 1641 on April 12, reception of this longest-distance station went unnoticed until file review after return to the States. The female speaker (in the Bengali language) is the third station in the recording, after the female vocal music from Pyongyang BS and the Irish-accented male preacher from NZ's Star network. Her speech peaks around 40 to 50 seconds into the recording. The isolation of the Star network at the 55 second point was done by the Ultralight's loopstick, not by the propagation. Thanks to Alokesh Gupta for the language and station identification https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ix71clk446ad5d5bkzbn3e0q94fe18wu
657 Pyongyang BS Pyongyang, N. Korea, 1500 kW Like most east Asian signals the N.K. big gun sounded pretty anemic in the Cook Islands. Its female vocal music at 1641 on April 12th shared the frequency with NZ's Star network (Irish-accented preacher) and AIR's female Bengali speaker https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ix71clk446ad5d5bkzbn3e0q94fe18wu
693 Bangladesh Betar Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1000 kW (7,960 miles/ 12,810 km) Probably the biggest surprise of the DXpedition, with S9 signal peaks on 4 out of 5 sunrise sessions. Frequently snarling with the Oz pest 3AW, it usually managed a few minutes on top of the frequency each morning from 1630-1700 UTC. Exotic South Asian music was the usual format, and was very easy to distinguish from the talk-oriented format of 3AW (and other Oz co-channels). This first appearance at 1652 on 4-10 featured a "Bangladesh Betar" ID by a male speaker at 8 seconds into the recording (thanks to Chuck Hutton for listening) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/94j756mjptm1fuaij381dw2wbsqkre91
This was followed by a lot of exotic music until 3AW claimed the frequency just before the 1700 TOH https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ltl5f8aeo5w2qm3bf2n02x06xsu9fb9r
The next day (4-11) the exotic station was back with S9 peaks, including this typical music and female speaker at 1625 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/3fu4wo3efoj34dfjm4c6jvg4mzb3nrcv
The exotic music from Bangladesh was in an S9 snarl with 3AW (and another Oz pest) from 1659 throughout the 1700 TOH on April 11th https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/pa29z92iqim2y6ps40qlv08q84gtxbqv
774 JOUB Akita, Japan, 500 kW Oddly enough, this was the only Japanese signal making it to the island during the entire trip. Mixing with a goofy-sounding 3LO announcer at 1613 on 4-11, the Japanese female speech concerns a "doobutsuen" (a "zoo" in Japanese, similar to what the frequency sounded like with the 3LO announcer) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/57lu1aeb7u77kjwub1v7gr1id66xho7l
819 KCBS Pyongyang, N. Korea, 500 kW The N.K. big gun managed a potent signal for its 3+1 pips across its "TOH" at 1630 on 4-12 but never could shake off RNZ's Tauranga transmitter https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/4x2b670b8p2b2edy9xw19ns1eftnbg1w
909 CNR6 Quanzhou, China, 300 kW Strong signal with CNR ID (1:08) and Mandarin speech by male and female announcers. NZ's Star network was apparently off the air at the time, since it was a real blaster when transmitting https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/kgvitthtofeqvphnve4yoi35q1nxfypn
918 RNK Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 600 kW (6823 miles/ 10,981 km) Breaking through the Shandong and Oz QRM at an ideal time to dominate the frequency, its sign off transmission with the National Anthem peaked just before the 1700 TOH on April 12. Female speech in the Khmer language and exotic music are featured just before the anthem (thanks to Hiroyuki Okamura and JariLehtinen for listening, and identifying the National Anthem) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8ji74eayhau8ttjv25pv6zlmcnt0jyai
Chuck Hutton's improved audio file of the same reception (thanks) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qams92h5ktn7ki93u3qlvbzvyl3y8rru
918 Shandong RGD Synchros (Multiple) The dominant Asian signal on the frequency, it rarely allowed Cambodia to sneak through. Here it is with female Mandarin speech at 1647 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ml1vqzmgl35q9gfzpzlsepvvmz1l1shw
Shandong’s 5+1 time pips were recorded mixing with another station’s 5+1 time pips at 1700 on 4-12, resulting in bizarre, two-tone time pips at the 1700 TOH on 4-12 (during Cambodia's National Anthem at 1:40, in the MP3 linked below). The sound effect sounded similar to that of a "cuckoo clock," resulting in some initial confusion about their sources. Thanks to Nick for his assessment that these must be Shandong’s pips mixing with those of RNZ National (a regular on the frequency each evening and morning)—an explanation that makes sense to me https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8ji74eayhau8ttjv25pv6zlmcnt0jyai
972 HLCA Dangjin, S. Korea, 1500 kW The South Korean big gun played the part on most mornings, including this S9+ Korean female speech at 1631 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/gynxilf8rpe762f0y5wbj85k0krh1dvb
981 CNR1 Synchros Changchun/ Nanchang, China, 200 kW/ 200 kW The first of three CNR1 frequencies which usually produced strong signals, this music // 1377 was received at 1624 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/tybl0tglmfqkec7u2u1udhgncd4sc5d5
1377 CNR1 Synchros (Various) Overall this was not only the strongest Chinese frequency on the band, but was the strongest Asian station on the band as well. Awesome S9+ signals were typical each morning, as with this male speech and music at 1622 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/5eh6zami9876vajyjjfoaqz764lcmo1a
Another potent signal from this Chinese blaster at 1640 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8jlbyscbxe4i8ed1n4admt01f66gt7jt
1431 Mongolia (Relay Station) Choibalsan, Mongolia, 500 kW This station was easy to receive on the first attempt, with very little competition on the frequency. It typically managed an S9 signal after 1630 daily with the BBC's Korean service, which seemed to be broadcast during the peak sunrise enhancement time in Aitutaki's ocean-boosted propagation. Here is BBC's Korean male announcer at an S9 level at 1632 on 4-11, with the BBC interval signal at 47 seconds into the recording https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/bfl4ohbfmhf9fdvfa6mx6jnxapaayk4a
The Mongolian relay program prior to 1630 was also in Korean, with this female Korean speech at 1627 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/5892chd20zbxs3w7r1q1f2qx39f6l7gm
1566 HLAZ Jeju, S. Korea, 250 kW A very poor signal was typical during this trip, with the Chinese service barely showing up under 3AW and two other DU English stations (probably 4GM and Norfolk Island). Whenever 3AW was in a fade it had a chance, since other two co-channels were running very low power. Here is the latter situation, with the weak Chinese barely audible under the DU English snarl at 1641 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/hysvrh4f7i8u16f3740ch5azam0iervx
1593 CNR1 Changzhou, China, 600 kW This was another Chinese blaster, with S9 signals typical every morning. Here it was at 1641 on 4-12 with male Chinese speech and music // 1377 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/unn7d4h3wa9ro7g7wespunkqeaay6f6e
PACIFIC ISLAND LOGGINGS
Chasing DX from the center of Polynesia was an ideal chance to track down exotic DU island stations that rarely, if ever, show up on the west coast of North America. From my location on the Aitutaki lagoon beach obscure stations like 630-Cook Islands and 990-Fiji Gold were pounding in at S9 levels every evening, while other exotic island stations were the strongest ones on the MW band. Phenomenal ocean beach propagation was routine-- except that the North American pest stations (that TP-DXers love to hate) never managed even a whimper.
Close-in DU propagation was so favorable that only the 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave SSB Ultralight was necessary to track down most of these exotic stations at S9 levels, and make all the MP3 recordings linked below. The vacation was also an ideal chance to investigate and record what is possibly the most obscure MW-DX station still transmitting in the Pacific-- 630-Radio Cook Islands, with an underperforming 2.5 kW transmitter in Rarotonga. Overall the entire experience was a real thrill for a west coast DXer who rarely hears these stations, let alone at such powerful levels.
540 2AP Apia, Samoa, 5 kW Located only 866 miles (1,394 km) from my DXing site, this was always an S9 powerhouse every evening. Samoan island music was common, along with male and female Samoan speech. The station does have some issues with the transmitted signal cutting out, an intermittent microphone and (occasionally) the announcer allowing 30 seconds of dead time after a song, as in the third MP3 below.
Male Samoan speech, background music and advertisement at 0718 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/vfsisz3n9gx6869eejbh116y3dwnrn20
Samoan news (with mentions of Samoa at the 1 second and 9 second points) at 0702 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/3y9puecegkb6ikgppv9s8coxgq23ifam
Beautiful Samoan island music at 0716 on 4-9, followed by 28 seconds of dead time. When programming resumes with an advertisement the transmitter (or microphone) cuts out twice within 30 seconds, with the microphone apparently having an intermittent low output issue https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/akv3p4ds5rnz0kcta1k4rixnht5c3hqf
558 Radio Fiji One Suva, Fiji, 5 kW Both this native language station and its English-oriented sister station on 990 were solid powerhouses each evening, as well as during sunrise enhancement sessions. S9 signals were the norm, and a wide variety of local island music was the usual format.
Typical Fiji island music on the station's overnight program at 1605 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/iui5tnz71kfie3mtznaiey0taowcf0b3
Island music and the usual ID, "Radio Fiji One, Na Domoiviti" at the 24 second point of this recording at 1622 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/iui5tnz71kfie3mtznaiey0taowcf0b3
Apparent storm coverage of Tropical Cyclone Keni at 0718 on 4-9; the cyclone caused extensive damage on Fiji https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/hj0vi3yc9zut8pll2vs8kgtyc6cu6i81
621 Radio Tuvalu Funafuti, Tuvalu, 5 kW Usually very strong but occasionally pestered by 3RN QRM, this exotic island station typically hit an S9 level about an hour after local sunset. A lot of island music is played by the usual female announcer, featured in this recording in her native language at 0720 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ht4fhwj9htzcrtmuby6930664yc9uj56
630 Radio Cook Islands Rarotonga, Cook islands, 2.5 kW Located 164 miles (264 km) south of my DXing site, it was pretty obvious why this obscure station is so tough for distant DXers to track down. After sunset it had multiple strong co-channels on the frequency (RNZ and ABC), and even just after its sign on at 1556 the 5+1 pips from RNZ were clearly audible at 1600. The station has multiple issues, with a disastrous live microphone, audio amplitude varying widely between different programs, noticeable audio hum on the signal, etc. It signs on at 1556 and signs off at 0958, unless there is a weather emergency in the area (as there was with tropical cyclone Keni on April 9), in which case it switches to an RNZ satellite feed overnight until sign on at 1556 (thanks to Bryan Clark for ID of the station). The station is obviously a low budget operation, with no special sign on or sign off message, automated time mentions, and (typically) strings of recorded island music with no live announcer. The only live announcers I heard during the week were during a Sunday morning recorded church service on April 8, and just after sign on (with the dreadful microphone) on April 12th.
Here is the full sign on routine at 1556 UTC on April 12, with the horns, apparent national anthem, English ID, drums, and finally the live female announcer with the dreadful microphone (cutting off almost all the high frequencies, resulting in legendary poor audio). The weakness of the signal at 1600 allows the 5+1 time pips from RNZ to be clearly heard at the 4:30 point in the recording https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/xqonh9iz57w22ebzxwz42krugu3rvykx
This recording of a church service at 1724 on April 8 was the only one I made on Rarotonga, the site of the transmitter. It features a live male announcer at 1:10 into the recording with an English "It's 7:25, that's your time with your National Voice" ID. At 1:44 into the recording one of the station's major issues is on full display-- the sudden amplitude increase of the transmitted audio https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/rfe2u3m3px4xmossujtxilzw8vlk3jtg
During most hours of the day the station runs a fully automated operation, with strings of recorded island music interspersed with recorded male-voiced station ID's and female-voiced time checks, as at 0706 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/oegfjznhbgw0evy9xuzqbu428xd31l4y
There is no special sign off message at 0958 (2358 local time), when the power is cut. There is a recorded station ID and time check at 0957, though, as in this recording at 0956 on April 9th. The weakness of the station around local midnight can be heard, with a strong co-channel pestering the signal before the unceremonious switch to the RNZ satellite feed at 0959, This was due to the tropical cyclone Keni weather emergency in the South Pacific area on April 9th; on normal days the transmitter power is simply cut off at 0958 (2358 local time), with no warning or fanfare https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/bqwt5lm0ezhdyqayqkfjj8j8fbirysar
846 Radio Kiribati Christmas Island, Kiribati, 10 kW Not quite as strong on Aitutaki as it was in Kona, Hawaii last December, this station was one of the first to fade in at sunset, but was pestered by ANZ co-channels later in the evening. It has apparently corrected the transmitter cutout issues noticed last December, and features an open carrier overnight after sign off around 1006. The time delay with its 1440 parallel wasn't checked during this trip (mainly because both of these Kiribati stations had trouble holding their frequencies), but in December it was very unpredictable. Since the 846 transmitter apparently doesn't sign on until it gets the programming from 1440 in Tarawa (significantly to the west), 846-Kiribati was silent during my sunrise DXing sessions in the Cooks from 1600-1700, although the semi-local 630-RCI (at approximately the same longitude) signs on at 1556.
The best time to receive the station was around local sunset, before the ANZ co-channels showed up. Here it was at 0650 on 4-9, playing some American country music (a format which seems very common on the playlist) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/e965m3zcy13t3auije44zn344x5q8fw9
Later on in the evening it was pestered by multiple ANZ co-channels, as demonstrated when the loopstick bearing is shifted at the 16 second point in this recording at 0834 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/f6kd11wrj2lunrcjzlss1nnnr9i8v39m
900 Radio Fiji Two (Fiji Gold) Suva, Fiji, 10 kW The English-language sister station to the native language 558-RF1, this interesting station plays classic pop hits, and is a favorite with expats and NZ listeners alike. Very tough to receive on the west coast because of its "domestic" frequency and the 5 kW Hawaii co-channel KIKI, its signal had no trouble pounding in to the Cooks at an S9 level each evening, although the 1 kW Kiwi co-channel TAB Trackside did attempt to make it somewhat of a horse race at times. Because of Tropical Cyclone Keni there was extensive weather coverage on the station during my visit, which is reflected in all of the MP3's linked below.
Oldies music and tropical cyclone weather update at 0712 on 4-10, after the storm had just passed trough the center of Fijian waters https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/b5may3rbr5kuuwbus18lr4hala57x1vb
Oldies music, local advertisements and Fiji news at 0700 on 4-12, including the President's warning against corruption in repair construction contracts after the tropical cyclone https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/rs70dcbhco94arepnnv6othl3b5z27hw
Long version of the first MP3, as co-channel TAB Trackside (1 kW in Nelson, NZ) tries to make it a horse race with Fiji Gold at 0710 on 4-10, but folds in the clutch to Melissa Etheridge https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/devsen4lrp2pul0m92m0r638yb6yj79i
1017 A3Z (Tonga B.C.) Nuku'alofa, Tonga, 10 kW Much stronger in the Cooks than in Hawaii, this station was only 1,014 miles (1,632 km) from my DXing site on Aitutaki. Coverage of Tropical Cyclone Keni dominated the programming, which featured both English and native language updates on the storm. Despite the station's S9 strength it was easily nulled out with the Ultralight's loopstick, bringing in the 2.5 kW Radio Sport co-channel in Christchurch (as demonstrated at 1:23 into the first video linked below).
In a Tropical cyclone update in English and Tongan languages at 0712 on 4-9, Radio Tonga is nulled out by the Ultralight's loopstick at various points, bringing in the Kiwi co-channel Radio Sport (2.5 kW) at an equal S9 level around the 4 minute point https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/h4hbmh1ro3xydm0h6g4tlfkwxfqp3mjd
Tongan island music at S9 level at 1607 on 4-11, but with Yankee-accented Radio Sport (relaying Fox Sports Network) and another DU English co-channel (2KY?) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/3771cas3q9mdqvsn8phy2c96esghlchi
1098 V7AB (Radio Marshalls) Majuro, Marshall Islands, 25 kW Not nearly as strong as in Hawaii, this was another island station easily nulled out with the Ultralight's loopstick to bring in an S9 Kiwi co-channel (Newstalk ZB). It was strongest prior to sunset in NZ, but couldn't hold the frequency after that unless the Kiwi station was nulled out (as demonstrated in the MP3 linked below).
Radio Marshalls and Newstalk ZB fight it out at 0724 on 4-9, with the island station holding the frequency as long as the loopstick favors it (and getting plastered otherwise) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/32p2a8stc0ci9m1f7cyrmxfkkpa9rhk8
Radio Marshalls plays some beautiful music, which made for enjoyable listening as long as Newstalk ZB was nulled out (as at 0746 on 4-10) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/3f589i8odtcu98ky45agyz4gqex29qzg
1170 UnID Religious format station (with a mention of “with your pastor” is at the 25 second point) featuring island-accented English female speech having a motivational theme at 0707 on 4-12. Although no ID was recorded, the programming details all seemed to point to Eagle Christian Radio in the Marshall Islands, but Mika Makelainen talked with one of the station personnel who said that the station hasn’t been broadcasting recently. As such, the reception remains the ultimate mystery, since the details don’t seem to fit any other possibility https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/7pof6qol9hnub400ncq3ele32dlf4vy4
1440 Radio Kiribati Bairiki, Tarawa, 10 kW Reasonably strong on most nights in the Cooks, although occasionally (and amazingly) troubled by the flea-powered (200w) Kiwi co-channel Te Reo O Tauranga Moana. Having a variable-delay parallel arrangement with its 846 kHz sister station on Christmas Island, all of the programming originates from this station. The music format features a lot of Kiribati island tunes, along with a surprising amount of American country music.
Radio Kiribati with the usual female and male announcers at typical strength at 0708 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/bwsm9wdte9qap0anqw3wt8rgtsg9d9j0
One of the distinctive ways to identify the station is the 4-bong time signal on the half hour, as at the 13 second point in this recording at 0730 on 4-10 (with the male announcer) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/0jdxn3mm3v1da9a659nvyvd47ek7qryo
The usual female announcer has a strong signal until around 51 seconds into this recording at 0805 on 4-11, when the 200w Kiwi co-channel Te Reo O Tauranga Moana provides some serious competition in Maori (thanks to Theo for language identification) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/f9m9z6aqpacsolti5l3eevgsq72dnabo
NORTH AMERICAN and SOUTH AMERICAN LOGGINGS
The closest point on the USA mainland is 4,550 miles (7,323 km) away from Aitutaki island, and there was a straight ocean path to North America from my DXing spot on the lagoon beach, resulting in several strong transoceanic signals across the Pacific. The closest point in South America (Chile) was about 5,550 miles (8,930 km) away, although there was a 480’ (150m hill) between my lagoon spot and that direction.
Because of various tourist activities scheduled by my wife around sunset and a lingering mindset that North American signals weren't exactly top priority DX to chase, no deliberate effort was made to go after these stations while in the Cook Islands. Despite this 7 USA mainland stations and one South American (1000-Radio Record in Sao Paulo, Brazil) crashed the Kiwi sunset skip DXing sessions about 2 hours after sunset, wiping out the adjacent 9 kHz-split frequencies that I was trying to receive. The most distant of the USA stations was 1170-KFAQ in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 5,642 miles (9,080 km). All were received on the 7.5" loopstick CC Skywave Ultralight alone, which provided good reception of these stations because the reciprocal bearing of New Zealand was ideally directed at North America on the 7.5" loopstick-- so that the DX from both directions was received at optimal strength concurrently.
No doubt many more of these North and South American stations could have been received if a deliberate effort had been made to go after them, especially around sunset if the 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna had been set up to provide a gain boost (as it was for long range Asian DX, at sunrise). Strangely enough, none of the usual TP-DXing pests in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland or San Francisco made this North American DX list (although to be honest, I really didn't miss them at all!).
610 KEAR San Francisco, California (5 kW at 4,610 miles/ 7,419 km) "Family Radio for the West Coast," Christian religious format received at fair level at 0835 UTC on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/jq81e11f3tq5o4slbe6ytsv477ffwg36
640 KFI Los Angeles, California (50 kW at 4,570 miles/ 7,355 km) Strong (S9) level with commercial ads at 0633 UTC on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/vxrj7014eqhrbok88pw8a3e1y32qerka
1000 Radio Record Sao Paulo, Brazil, 200 kW Thought at first to be a foreign-language DU on 999, this Portuguese recording at 0751 on 4-10 was a mystery at first. After asking for online help I was fortunate to have Ivan Dias of Sorocaba, SP, Brazil identify the station, and the “Manha Record” program. At 7,072 miles (13,382 km), this was the fourth most distant reception of the trip https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/wiuc8rlk3q1ylt6580kh2m016c8jblsg
1070 KNX Los Angeles, California (50 kW at 4.570 miles/ 7,355 km) Powerful (S7) level with "1070 Newsradio" ID at 3 seconds, followed by national news at 0730 UTC on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/81cy1nzyzr4dokk489sdgh34is3lp4ww
1160 KSL Salt Lake City, Utah (50 kw at 5,144 miles/ 8,278 km) Powerful (S7) level with weather and station ID at 33 seconds, followed by public service ads at 0901 UTC on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/4ymewhcz6x28hikjtcd77y99e85ji2u4
1170 KFAQ Tulsa, Oklahoma (50 kW at 5,642 miles/ 9,080 km) Strong signal over apparent DU English co-channel with "Coast-to-Coast" ID at 44 seconds; thanks to Richard Allen for confirming the broadcast of the program on the station at 0845 UTC on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/u5gtxk6l5qggu2xuf2q09thdnj44sfo8
1430 KMRB San Gabriel, California (9.8 kW at 4,577 miles/ 7,366 km) Cantonese Chinese format at S7 level with commercial ads at 0830 UTC on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/au8ru485mfr57cvspeo0qp4zjvq5pekg
1640 KDIA Vallejo, California (10 kW at 4,633 miles/ 7,456 km) "1640-KDIA" ID at 6 seconds with Christian religious format at S5 level at 0807 UTC on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/k3a631palnk7ntv4xsgrjnv8bciio611
As with North American DX, these stations were not exactly high priority DX in the Cook Islands, and no special effort was made to go after them. After two Kona, Hawaii DXpeditions in 2017, there was a lingering memory of too many Hawaiian MW stations running too much power in too few small, congested communities.
590 KSSK Honolulu, Oahu (7.5 kW at 2,781 miles/ 4,476 km) "Variety, 92.3, KSSK" ID at 2 seconds, followed by pop music at 0701 UTC on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/1j20fcstcfhnoon4cq46kctber04ztzt
1420 KKEA Honolulu, Oahu (5 kW at 2,781 miles/ 4,476 km) ESPN sports format at strong level at 0715 UTC on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/dz0s8yxdf9l7cttwuaeewanqlwm5c71q
NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIAN LOGGINGS
As reported previously, the salt water-enhanced propagation from Aitutaki island to New Zealand was outstanding every evening after local sunset, resulting in over 100 Kiwi MW-DX recordings made during the trip. Australian signals ruled at sunrise, however, as a collection of Oz talk-format pest stations on 567, 594, 693, 918 and 1566 did their best to make it a challenge to track down exotic South and Southeast Asian DX on their frequencies.
All of the following stations were received with the hand-held 7.5" loopstick C.Crane SSB Ultralight radio alone, which was more than sensitive enough to track down scores of Kiwi and Oz stations every evening on the lagoon beach next to our motel. The master plan during the trip was to check all the MW frequencies in the evening after sunset, splitting up the frequencies to cover in pre-planned DXing sessions every evening. That worked fairly well until my wife discovered some special Polynesian dinner offers on the last two days, causing some of the higher frequencies to be foregone in favor of South Pacific luaus and Cook Maori dancing entertainment. As I watched the Maori fire dancing, it seemed like my master plan to cover the entire MW band was going up in smoke.
531 2PM Kempsey, Australia, 5 kW Dominant during most sunrise sessions, but pretty wimpy in the evening. Here it was with call-in talk on the SRN network (// 639) at 1627 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/dt3qb3g23xzqjnn6crsztf7x5xajmiby
531 4KZ Innisfail, Australia, 10 kW Occasionally dominant around sunrise, but usually under 2PM. This recording at 1559 on 4-10 has mentions of Innisfail at 20 and 23 seconds, a 4KZ promo, and "4KZ National News" at 1:21 in the MP3 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/bo65gzy106b6p3mf0gju4xhq14pgizig
531 More FM Alexandra, NZ, 2 kW Despite its rare reputation on the west coast the low-powered station had no trouble making itself heard each evening in the Cooks. Here it is with typical modern rock music at 0714 on 4-9, with a choppy, sandwiched "More FM" Yankee-accented female ID (also typical) at the 6 second point https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/dapiipgz0y3fcgkwqyg163zlr6l46h56
531 PI Auckland, NZ, 5 kW Usually in a snarl with Kiwi co-channel More FM each evening, this Samoan language broadcaster was sometimes dominant in the sunrise sessions, such as at 1633 on 4-10 (over 2PM's call-in talk) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/v7vd48wj50wh850xzqwdde60nguomfmi
540 Rhema Taranaki/ Christchurch, NZ, 2/ 1 kW) Usually covered by Samoa's 2AP in the evening, it had a clear shot during the sunrise sessions before the Samoan sign on, such as at 1603 on 4-9 (with Rhema ID at 40 seconds) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/niou2j8yrtih0ntgyu59a0bwdyyisnfo
549 TAB Trackside Radio Hawkes Bay, NZ, 1 kW For some reason this low powered horse racing station ruled the frequency each evening, although there were higher powered NZ and Oz co-channels. This recording at 0733 on 4-10 features an entire horse race at a strong level, along with a musical break https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/udp96gpbxvdu26wrvbgy2ri224pps64h
558 Radio Sport Invercargill, NZ, 5 kW Barely audible (under a thunderous Radio Fiji One) with Yankee-accented Fox Sports News relay at 1624 on 4-10, this station always had a very rough time with the Fiji co-channel https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/pue1kl4p7uvohelwt5hdr45jbjp0aau3
567 RNZ National Wellington, NZ, 50 kW With a relatively wimpy west coast signal after its old tower was demolished, this station sounded far more energetic in the Cooks. Here was parliamentary news at 0717 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/y4uy1yjnfvg5kboq7e1celolmrkysd33
576 2RN Sydney, Australia, 50 kW A real blaster every morning around sunrise, it usually wiped out any chance of hearing something exotic on the frequency, such as at 1619 on 4-13 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/bkwh5w1vg3xufbe63f3yefbaav7afvlg
576 Star Hamilton, NZ, 2.5 kW If 2RN didn't wipe out the frequency during the sunrise sessions then the "Dwarf Star" usually would. Here it was in a relatively equal mix with the Oz big gun at 1618 on 4-13 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/x1od4xf71d9nxpgzpz21h7sqvevretiw
585 7RN Hobart, Australia, 10 kW Usually in a mix with a presumed 2WEB in the evening, the station was easy to ID with its 576 parallel, such as at 1607 on 4-9 with female and male speech in an RN network program https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/43n8cxjbesp75bk6t63tedovm3pkfo7h
585 Radio NgatiPorou Ruatoria, NZ, 2 kW A Kiwi Maori station with legendary weakness, on the west coast it has only been heard at Rockwork 4 (where it has now been MIA for 3 years). In the Cooks it was barely audible, such as at 1610 on 4-9 (with the 603-Waatea parallel playing "In the Misty Moonlight" for the first 3 seconds, followed by the same music way under 7RN from the rare station, and finally the 603-Waatea parallel again at the 35 second point). The parallel check was only successful on one out of four attempts, with the wimpy signal usually MIA https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ayxdvibx0u0hpecasdx9xuqd4pu6bwod
585 UnID-Oz This station received at 0738 on 4-9 was not // 576, and was also not // 603, so most likely it was David Sharp's "Outback Radio," 2WEB in Bourke. It was usually in a running battle with 7RN each evening in the Cooks https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8768a9n9y3wf1ibz51yi1lqj2pkhla04
594 3WV Horsham, Australia, 50 kW This was another huge blaster during sunrise sessions, wiping out any chance at Southeast Asia. In tandem with the Star network, the Oz big gun plastered anything weak, such as at 1629 on 4-13 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/89kmglgoez1eh25ljbvtf0u625t4lm93
594 Star Timaru/ Wanganui, NZ, 5/ 2 kW The Christian hymn network dominated in the evenings, but lost out to the Oz big gun at sunrise. This weather report was received at 1622 on 4-13 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/z54n53zsf262e5d10jmcdegqz2yatzhr
603 RadioWaatea Auckland, NZ, 5 kW The strongest of the Maori language stations in the Cooks, it provided a convenient parallel signal to check for the wimpy 585 Maori station. This was its typical (S9) strength at 0737 on 4-9, with Maori language conversation https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/s2hrnllo4jy6khbwlcegqpeym0gbhq0e
603 UnID-Oz One of the Australian ABC stations was mixing with Radio Waatea at 0752 on 4-10, but a parallel check wasn't made at the time because Radio Waatea was being used for a parallel check with 585 at that moment https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/xwj9crbo6bhtyn6nx7tiuhp9hd2xdb1l
630 4QN Townsville, Australia, 50 kW Oz big gun was easy to hear in the null of Radio Cook Islands' open carrier at 1500 on 4-12 with trumpet fanfare and ABC news at the TOH; it was also easy copy in RCI's null (with RNZ) every evening https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ceiaw26agqd4h15jv0j0xipexd7oryy6
630 RNZ Hawkes Bay, NZ, 10 kW 5+1 time pips and female announcer mixing with 4QN in the null of Radio Cook Islands' open carrier at 1500 on 4-12; this station was the dominant co-channel of RCI in the evening https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ceiaw26agqd4h15jv0j0xipexd7oryy6
639 2HC Coff'sHarbour, Australia, 5 kW Local ads (mentioning the suburb "Umarra" at 1:08) and "100.5 FM, 639 AM" ID at 1:18 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/cgv1vb0g8twz4vl6j8660hdjj53d1mmx
657 Star Wellington/ Tauranga, NZ, 50/ 10 kW A real powerhouse with its Christian programming each evening, its signal tapered off somewhat around sunrise, allowing Pyongyang and AIR (Kolkata) to sneak through on 4-12. This signal (at 1651 on 4-12) starts off with the Asians nulled for a few seconds (after AIR had hit its peak), with Star's Irish-accented preacher hitting an S9 level briefly https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/3o4kd9pkall7oyrzzhy0n2hnx3o8ypfx
675 RNZ Christchurch, NZ, 10 kW Another evening powerhouse with a traffic report during the rush hour at 0630 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/o7fldq2j27j3xdpfmwn7yienzn11kq9l
693 3AW Melbourne, Australia, 5 kW This was the major pest for Bangladesh reception (and much more troublesome than Radio Sport). This recording of the "Australia Overnight" program at 1703 on 4-10 was during a mix with news from Bangladesh, and features multiple promotions (initially) for the 3AW smart phone and the 3AW app (I don't think I'll apply for these!) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/39r5556vdg04sasruqfqgqkyyr8wkm7v
693 Radio Sport Dunedin, NZ, 5 kW Usually dominant around 1600 daily, only to lose out to 3AW and Bangladesh as 1700 approached. This Yankee-accented program (Fox Sports News relay) was at 1608 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/e921kcqxno63geffbqi3t6hq97l31vey
702 2BL Sydney, Australia, 50 kW The Oz big gun had a rough time going up against Kiwi Magic in the Cooks. Here it was at almost equal strength (with male-female conversation under Magic's "See You Later, Alligator") at 0740 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/j4xkzd773528d4ekr3ibjw184j5hev0i
702 Magic Auckland, NZ, 10 kW Magic's flagship station ruled the frequency each evening, with awesome signals around the Kiwi sunset, such as at 0730 on 4-10 with this very creative oldies song medley ID https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/n0bnhm6yay3w0nwbfj7mez8foxuo7tvb
729 Radio Sport Whangarei, NZ, 3 kW Dominant over a real crowd at 1648 on 4-13 with Yankee-accented Fox Sports News relay https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ykyl4b029h1xynq0vea1w8ttz0nk7peh
738 2NR Grafton, Australia, 50 kW Dominant over Magic (a pretty rare occurrence in the evening) at 0745 on 4-9 with male speech https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/synliotkd983zc7ch57rcx84xwswuwas
738 Magic Christchurch, NZ, 5 kW The usual sunset skip leader on the frequency, with strong music // 702 over 2NR at 0731 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/vp58j5scujemjzn59ua6tebzk7c56awl
756 RNZ Auckland, NZ, 10 kW This was one of the strongest RNZ signals each evening, although for some reason it never was recorded. Usually at equal strength with its 567 and 675 parallels.
765 Radio Kahungunu Hawkes Bay, NZ, 2.5 kW This Maori-language overachiever was competitive with its 603 parallel on most evenings, but like 756-RNZ accidentally went unrecorded (most likely due to an unscheduled Polynesian dinner).
774 3LO Melbourne, Australia, 50 kW The Oz big gun was a potent presence during most sunrise sessions, such as at 1611 on 4-9 (booming in over NZ's Radio Sport) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/krxsxdkps64zbmlnm0m0wuoeivqmp4yd
774 Radio Sport New Plymouth, NZ, 5 kW Yankee-accented Fox Sports news relay almost at equal strength with 3LO at 1612 on 4-9, but usually way under the Oz big gun around sunrise https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/5xqrmwv1n3866u2rotzxq9oa3wa4o8lz
792 4RN Brisbane, Australia, 25 kW Not very impressive for the power level on most mornings, usually in a lackluster mix with NZ's Yankee-accented Radio Sport (such as at 1614 on 4-9, playing music // 576) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/eg72jxaf03tdxu4l70vbg52231ixckn5
792 Radio Sport Hamilton, NZ, 5 kW Dominant over a weak 4RN with Fox Sports News relay at 1615 on 4-9 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/6pdsb8j64gdmb7882rwh1jhy8eixkco2
810 2BA Bega, Australia, 10 kW Female speech // 774 (along with RNZ and a possible KGO) at 0850 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/1opl0zzodp01jhbfu2sv2o0fzqyttqhd
810 RNZ Dunedin, NZ, 10 kW Male speech // 819 in a three station mix at 0850 on 4-10; co-channels were 2BA and a possible KGO https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/1opl0zzodp01jhbfu2sv2o0fzqyttqhd
819 RNZ Tauranga, NZ, 10 kW Strong signal all alone with male conversation // 810 at 0848 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qa751yhhwxlosyi1po1zgqdrbzd7e047
828 TAB Trackside Radio Palmerston North, NZ, 2 kW You can almost smell the horses as the low power TAB Trackside leaves the Aussie 3GI way down in the dust at 0835 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/t73cumjyelggta9dgk94nyu23lv3wzol
828 3GI Sale, Australia, 10 kW Female and male speech // 774 way under NZ's TAB Trackside at 0835 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/t73cumjyelggta9dgk94nyu23lv3wzol
837 RNZ Whangarei/ Kaitaia, NZ, 2.5/ 2 kW Male speech // 819 in a mix with 4RK at 0840 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/nx22gapusqquzotjoo873l7itbmf9hkv
837 4RK Rockhampton, Australia, 10 kW Female speech // 774 in a mix with RNZ at 0840 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/nx22gapusqquzotjoo873l7itbmf9hkv
846 Newstalk ZB Masterton, NZ, 2 kW The usual co-channel in the null of Radio Kiribati (on Christmas Island), it was at a fairly strong level with female and male speech // 1035 at 0833 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/4lxwj5239ug4rsdwzju2k7136zv7h67f
855 Rhema Hamilton, NZ, 2 kW "Focus on the Family" promo and commercial ads at 0830 on 4-10, followed by the "Focus" program in Yankee-accented English https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/s0xxgxqg94043ycr861gijkaotgjltw3
864 Newstalk ZB Invercargill, NZ, 10 kW Modest signal with female speech // 1035 over a weak co-channel at 0827 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/1385lejm7f82qu2wc61bfxn1dsbabzwj
873 UnID-DU Three DU English stations mixing at 0826 on 4-10, all receiving a salt water enhancement boost to the point where they succeed in creating mass confusion. Probably a mix of Newstalk ZB, TAB Trackside and an Oz station https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/aw9dn1m2bw39sbwflb4dagenutr95ksi
882 Star Auckland, NZ, 10 kW S9 signal all alone and // 909 with female speech at 0825 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/n2y76kxspboqnm5bcs2otv3xc3q8i45p
891 4TAB Townsville, Australia, 5 kW Pounding in at a winning level at 0821 on 4-10, featuring a bizarre "When You're After Your Mate" ad at 28 seconds, complete with a gambling addiction hotline number. Meanwhile 891-Wellington was left in the dust, barely showing up at the end of the race https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/2t7mn5m32326z3drhyta6dtwnx4y3t5z
891 Magic Wellington, NZ, 5 kW The anemic music station was under 4TAB (as usual) in this recording at 0822 on 4-10, the Kiwi oldies station was losing the horse race with 4TAB every evening https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/24833qhi3ta0rp284700h85d6tgtm9sr
900 Coast Whangarei, NZ, 2.5 kW Oldies format dominating over Star for most of this recording at 0819 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/nj1ytafh2dj2fervb0itouzrppdefrx8
900 Star Dunedin, NZ, 10 kW Dominating over Coast at the end of this recording at 0820 on 4-10 with female speech // 909 (includes a brief 909 segment) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/nj1ytafh2dj2fervb0itouzrppdefrx8
909 Star Hawkes Bay, NZ, 5 kW Awesome S9 signal with female Kiwi speech at 0818 on 4-10; this was the preferred Star frequency for parallel checks every evening https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/nrs8b2xto0tkzxrdx8icqtae9qo13335
The Christian format station was also a powerful presence every sunrise session, such as at 1618 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/cgde7y1n3p9w2ll1xdl6tjge5fd4jooi
918 RNZ Timaru/ New Plymouth, NZ, 2.5/ 2 kW Fair level with male speech // 567 at 0812 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/78f0cf7mjhy66cjb5uryhtw0n2hzsym0
918 UniD-Australian "Midnight, with Merv Starr" program intro at 1702 on 4-12 (30 seconds into the following recording). Strangely, the two eastern Oz station websites indicate that both should be music-oriented https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/dlhcf700ou82hf7unqwlbn026m7bci52
Note: The 918 kHz frequency was one of the more interesting in this group. It received a lot of attention because of Cambodia on the frequency, which finally broke through with its National Anthem on April 12th. One single MP3 contained the Cambodian anthem, Shandong in China, bizarre "Cuckoo Clock" time pips at the 1700 UTC and a mix of two DU English stations after that-- one of which was the "Midnight, with Merv Starr" program on an Oz talk station, which remains unidentified. The other DU English signal on the frequency was the RNZ duo from Timaru and New Plymouth, which routinely showed up in the evening sessions. After hearing Nick's opinion about the "Cuckoo Clock" time pips at 1700 UTC (at 1:41 in Chuck's reworked MP3, posted at https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qams92h5ktn7ki93u3qlvbzvyl3y8rru ) I agree with Nick that they are most likely the Shandong 5+1 time pips alternating with the 5+1 time pips from RNZ, and not echoes from the Shandong multi-transmitter system, as originally thought.
927 4CC Gladstone, Australia, 5 kW Presumed the one with a rock format dominating over Newstalk ZB at the earlier part of this recording at 0807 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8zjzilbrxolzk4azgz1xqoblx8neu7pd
927 Newstalk ZB Palmerston N., NZ, 2 kW Male speech // 1035 dominating over a presumed 4CC at the end of this recording at 0808 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8zjzilbrxolzk4azgz1xqoblx8neu7pd
936 Chinese Voice Auckland, NZ, 1 kW One of the major surprises of the DXpedition, with awesome signals every evening. This TOH recording at 0800 on 4-10 features a Chinese ID, station promos and website information https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/jp8cmpqmmxbjm6bruj601g5y0i4j66f5
936 UnID-Australian Mixing with Chinese Voice at 0731 on 4-9 with DU English, most likely 4PB in Brisbane https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/0o7oo6i4nd6wunsncdsxs516r3wkyiji
945 Newstalk ZB Gisborne, NZ, 2 kW Good signal // 1035 with sports news at 0758 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/7dl3volkdjwq4u9wa8eygb166a115lah
954 UnID-DU A single station all alone with news at 0756 on 4-10, but just not enough content to identify https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/crippbcbus3gw6g27yc767f4nqf3md7m
963 Star Christchurch, NZ, 10 kW Strong signal // 909 with ID at the 10 second point, followed by Christian music https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ltk43q3f8gkj60zwyvbwlfe27zk0ercb
972 UnID For some reason this frequency was overlooked in the evening, but an apparent DU English co-channel was mixing with HLCA's Korean at 1632 on 4-12 with a talk format-- most likely Rhema, in Wellington https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/rsjxq9ara77rrvdeg4f1dnn5fh9jgs1b
981 RNZ Kaikohe, NZ, 2 kW Female-voiced news // 567 at good level at 0723 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/0lx9tfev0eq7qe9vj054mu60kw1oxthq
990 TAB Trackside Nelson, NZ, 1 kW In a fairly good horse race with Fiji Gold at the start of this recording at 0712 on 4-10, only to fold to Melissa Etheridge in the clutch https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/devsen4lrp2pul0m92m0r638yb6yj79i
1008 4TAB Brisbane, Australia, 10 kW Dominating over Newstalk ZB with live horse racing at 0752 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/oqks7pabb5rjj96eb04c49n5iseb16xv
1008 Newstalk ZB Tauranga, NZ, 10 kW Dominating over 4TAB with male-voiced news // 1035 at 0753 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/c1qk2124yuu2hhf0cwaqjjg3ev3w6q31
1017 Radio Sport Christchurch, NZ, 2.5 kW The major co-channel of A3Z in Tonga, it could usually be isolated simply by nulling out Tonga. This was the case at 0723 on 4-10, with sports-related news from the Kiwi station in the null of S9 Tonga https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/4yaczeqnvcdqyv6pyuog7707lrh2uifx
1026 Newstalk ZB Kaitaia, NZ, 2 kW Pretty good signal from the 2 kW station with male conversation // 1035 at 0738 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/6tjlvks46ygt3q8zo92768d2vcrtra1y
1035 Newstalk ZB Wellington, NZ, 20 kW Usually very strong on the frequency each evening, but a little off at 0737 on 4-10 with male conversation about gender-changed athletes https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/zbrxgjg5cyvi1xow8nedzv9aoie2x7cq
1044 Newstalk ZB Dunedin, NZ, 10 kW Male conversation // 1035 about gender-changed athletes at 0739 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/0arbh5wji31myv9vn46r29d07qjgbi8a
1053 Newstalk ZB New Plymouth, NZ, 2 kW Great signal for the power level with (once again) male conversation // 1035 about gender-changed athletes at 0740 on 4-10. Newstalk ZB has this part of the band almost monopolized https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/15b7t03n2w5y03tfoqoyk0u2xrms6pzz
1062 Radio Sport Wanganui, NZ, 1 kW Sports play-by-play with good signal for the power level at 0742 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/9h4ib0fg3in4xnnfqw6ue00zqi3o6lbk
1071 TAB Trackside Ashburton, NZ, 1 kW Believed to be the Kiwi-accented station at the end of the recording at 1700 on 4-13 under the dominant UnID Australian (thanks to Bryan Clark for accent assistance) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/4zu1wp0eykwxyy3598w45dtpjirs5nif
1071 UnID Australian Mention of "Melbourne" at the 18 second point, but no definite ID clues at 1700 on 4-13 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/4zu1wp0eykwxyy3598w45dtpjirs5nif
1080 Newstalk ZB Auckland, NZ, 10 kW Powerful signal at 0745 on 4-10 with sports-related news over very weak co-channel (KWAI in Hawaii?) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/f8lqy6xhvv56fdsyauyebt1t28wlxcsp
1089 Radio Sport Palmerston N., NZ, 2.5 kW Sports play-by-play // 1062 at 0746 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/chasv9jgq78avz0gsgsl2760p3b0l707
1098 Newstalk ZB Christchurch, NZ, 5 kW The usual co-channel of V7AB in the Marshall Islands, it could usually be isolated by nulling V7AB, as in this strong recording // 1035 (with the gender-changed athlete discussion) at 0749 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/cidqz29yfbvsfqe3xn2e3v5e11tppudt
1107 Radio Live Tauranga, NZ, 1 kW Talk-format station all alone at 0750 on 4-10 with good signal for the power level https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ixt6fum9c0eejx979eps4i1h7pwmzg4k
1116 UnID-DU A mix of a strong UnID music station (RNZ?) and a probable 4BC from Brisbane at 0752 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/a5pe6fmk17tnr90zlh4irjx2jf36xld9
1125 Radio Sport Hawkes Bay, NZ, 1 kW Great signal for the low power with local ads and promo for shared sports program on sister network Newstalk ZB at 0753 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/wp65skhg3czwx2sk1i1yzu8k4j5wzllb
1143 RNZ Hamilton, NZ, 2.5 kW Great signal with music and speech // 567 at 0754 on 4-10 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/b2f1mcjbzek1s2147rm2scj1m25nbqeo
1152 Newstalk ZB Timaru, NZ, 2 kW Good signal all alone with male conversation // 1035 at 0756 on 4-10 regarding (once again) gender-changed athletes https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/hpf4368fgakui2ivax59ms8pfpnpibww
1161 Radio TeUpoko o teIka, Wellington, NZ, 5 kW Good signal // 603 with Maori language speech at 0750 on 4-10; a parallel segment on 603 is included at the end of the recording. On some evenings this station would be wiped out by 1160-KSL in Salt Lake City https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/glyd7t60c5ihz1v9hrydblkslkd36524
1377 Radio Sport Levin/ Kapiti, NZ, 2 kW Local ads and a promo for Commonwealth Games sport coverage at 0803 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/n10gl1ok4wg4feo69ve999dknb982wde
1386 Radio Tarana Auckland, NZ, 10 kW The Kiwi big gun pounded in with female-voiced local ads in English and male Hindi speech at 0806 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/9a3myg4nwzptp2jckmdnlpo2datmpdax
1395 Newstalk ZB, Oamaru, NZ, 2 kW Good level with female-voiced news and male-voiced ID at 1:10, with promo of Commonwealth Games sport coverage at 0810 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/tiesp5tmnigghdog2spx1zxxfxbese86
1404 Rhema Invercargill, NZ, 5 kW Another good signal with Christian music and local ads at 0813 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qoxlo02gy396wp5weocmnrmdx3ev2kfi
1413 Newstalk ZB Tokoroa, NZ, 2 kW Male-voiced news // 1035 at 0819 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/td3jhm3ad49uaoiuagzea4zk7r8xbtry
1440 Radio Te Reo O Tauranga Moana, Tauranga, NZ, 200 w In one of the more bizarre moments of the entire trip, the 200 watt Maori station hijacks the frequency from Radio Kiribati at the 50 second point in the following recording (at 0807 on 4-11) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/2jpcqtll1odzjbrxak8u00brzpqr2uba
1449 RNZ Palmerston N., NZ, 2.5 kW Strong signal with female-voiced news // 567 at 0837 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/40nmrktl0qgcawrx2iwjwdcziqop7pez
1458 RNZ Westport, NZ, 400 w Amazing signal (for 400 watts) with female-voiced news // 1449 at 0841 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/9ewn2baonkqjcirnux6toly2m06ccr0q
1476 Trackside TAB Auckland, NZ, 5 kW Horse payout report followed by live race at 0843 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ekhhx7xmuoteg8p0w4vlr3d5xqd4x4m5
1485 Trackside TAB Gisborne, NZ, 1 kW Good level with horse racing results at 0846 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ja3gihauoxre7kxxeqe1hvmp05t9u5gx
1494 Radio Sport Timaru, NZ, 2.5 kW Commonwealth Games soccer coverage (NZ-Australia) mixing with Star's Christian music at 0849 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/6hihjntpnhr02lihpc1dx4rhwrbt6v29
1494 Star Hamilton, NZ, 2.5 kW Christian vocal music under Radio Sport's soccer coverage at 0849 on 4-11 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/6hihjntpnhr02lihpc1dx4rhwrbt6v29
1566 3NE Wangaratta, Australia, 5 kW This was the major pest blocking any attempts at reception of India. The "Australia Overnight" program ID at 1:40 (and Rick Springfield's music prior to that) are at typical strength https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qdch9evwszf8h0sei1t7gd6x0lhfkvh8
1566 UnID-DU During a rare fade in 3NE's obnoxious signal at 1641 on 4-12 an attempt was made to record a mix of two other DU English stations, possibly the 100w Norfolk Island and 200w 4GM. This was the wacky result (in a mix with HLAZ's Chinese) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/hysvrh4f7i8u16f3740ch5azam0iervx
1701 RadioBrisvani Brisbane, Australia, 100 w Presumed the one with South Asian music at 1645 on 4-12 https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/6pmgn2a89jlr3savncx0axkkigicotxl
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (DXing on Aitutaki, Cook Islands)
All New Zealand/ Australian loggings made with a 7.5" loopstick C.Crane Skywave SSB portable https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/oephl2ru7ejk31saxdq2tijqx9db0ros
5 inch (13 cm) “Frequent Flyer” FSL antenna demonstration video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRaOnWS-5Ig
Posted by Babul Gupta at 2:21 AM