Saturday, January 30, 2016

IDXCI 35th Anniversary Henry's Island DXped 22nd - 25th January 2016

What a way to celebrate 35th year of founding of IDXCI! Nine Dxers from all over India coming from places varying from Tripura to Delhi and from  Hyderabad to Kolkata and with Dxing seniority varying from first QSL of late sixty to first QSL of  late nineties, all  travelled to Henry' Island for a Dxped. The place was the northern most sea beach of Bay of Bengal about 120 km south of Kolkata and the location was a clearing in the Sundari forest where the Government of West Bengal had set up a fishery. The clear area of water bodies, proximity to the sea and bamboo poles sprinkled here and there was a magnificent setting to a Dxped. Driving in two cars including an Ambassador loaded with receivers, gears for beverages and supports  we arrived in the evening of 22nd Jan 2016. The ride was no less exciting because while waiting for the river crossing by ferry of river Hatania Doania Alokesh noticed a shop selling VHF antenna and later we located a shop selling marine transceiver sets from ICOM to ALINCO at a remote roadside bazar close to our DX location !! Once at the location we immediately set up two beverages the entire exercise led by Babul Gupta who had fashioned portable supports. The 180 m running south east had a terminating resistor at the end. The other one was running east west and had a sort of L at the end to follow the available land. The next day we set up yet another beverage which of course remained partly submerged in water.
What was the “wow”? What started as a warm up after getting Zanzibar loud and clear on 11735 kHz at 1600 hrs UTC and Maldives moderate on 1449 kHz soon went into an ecstasy with loads of long waves coming in varying from Antena Satelor Romania 153 kHz, Morocco R.Medi 171 kHz to Algiers on 252 kHz and Radio Polskei 225 kHz all coming in with clear noise free signals. Late into the night at 2100 hrs host of Philippines on the MW appeared, some clear and strong such as DZME 1531 kHz with their early morning chatter were soon overtaken by the Thai MW such as Chiang Mai 1476 kHz. The tropical bands which have very few stations left had some surprises in store for us. Radio Bougenville PNG on 3325 kHz at 2215 UTC was heard on 22nd with  moderate to loud signals on a clear channels. However, it was elusive only for a day. Next day on this channel there was  RRI Palangkarya signing on at 2200 UTC. Of the remaining Indonesians we could log RRI Makassar 4750 kHz and RRI Wamena 4870 kHz. All of the north Koreans  including the Voice of People 3480 kHz and 3912 kHz were also there through all of the days of our listening and so were the Australian
domestics 2325 kHz Tennant Creek, 4835 kHz Alice Springs and 5025 kHz Katherine. It is debatable whether to call Radio Tarma Peru on 4775 kHz at 2300 hrs listed to be running 1 KW as the topping in the cake of the Latins first located by C.K. Raman but there were other Cuban 60 m banders from Radio Havana 5040 kHz  to Radio Rebelde 5025 kHz which appeared fleetingly at 2300 hrs UTC. The higher frequency South Americans were represented by Argentina on 15345 kHz, Radio Nacional da Amazonia Brazil 11780 kHz which was not as strong as in Kolkata and R. Inconfidencia 15190 kHz.  The American Missionaries World Harvest Radio, WWCR ,WEWN and Radio Miami International were also there. Jose and Alokesh were probably the first to hear Bangaldesh Betar Dhaka B on 819 kHz in its first test transmission on 23rd Jan 2016. Jose also tuned in to AWR program via AIR Port Blair on 4760 kHz and in the morning we could also log AIR Leh on 4760 kHz.
What about the biggest “wow”?  The beach was linked to the fishery by a short walk through dense forest and was therefore open only during day time. In this relatively lonely beach we carried a folding table, a Drake R8, automobile battery and material for a beverage and set up a 100m long beverage on the morning of 23rd January. Our aim was to hunt for the Bengal Pirates on the MW. We had noticed them in earlier Dxpeds at Mandarmani and also during our scouting trip to this place in early December. Our plan this time was a comprehensive survey. What did we come across? There were at least 20 Bengal pirates on the MW which operated between 1000 kHz to 1700 kHz and the spurious went up as far as the 4 Mhz region. Sudipta Ghose coordinated the Perseus capture of the entire band of Bengal Pirates. What more – some of these pirates were even identifying themselves and giving out mobile telephone numbers!
Alokesh and C.K.Raman had carried a J Pole FM antenna and that had its catch of surprises too – FM stations varying from AIR Baripada in neighbouring Orissa to Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal were logged. During day time while we chatted DX Bangldesh FM would blare in the background.
Pradip Kundu true to his form of working wonders with lean equipments, managed to log the Brazilian time signal station on 10 Mhz using his Tecsun PL 660 portable receiver with telescopic antenna ( yes , not connected to a beverage ! ) while others were struggling with  their Perseus, Drakes, Skanti and Kenwood. In time signal stations we also managed to log BPM on 2.5 Mhz and Italian time signal station on 10 Mhz.

What about the disappointments? On the last night the huts next to ours were occupied and this being the peak season, the resort was full. This caused the noise level to jump up significantly and the long wave stations were a thing of the past just after a day. While stringing a beverage in the east south east direction part of it had to cross the waterbody but snapped. It was retrieved repaired and restrung but we had to accept part of it being submerged in water. Our vigorous hunt for the Japanese mw led by Debanjan yielded nothing except for a lone MW NHK. The Japanese MW which were so common during our DX peds in the mid eighties were simply not there. There was eerie echo of this in a monitored conversation between two Bangladeshi fishing vessels who were lamenting over “No fish: no catch “! 
On the way back we stopped by a roadside tea shop and had muri and ghoogni for breakfast while we relished the DX experience of the last few days and also enjoyed DX snippets and the accounts from our efficient account manager Tripti Ranjan Basu who handled most of IDXCI administration in yesteryears. As we were  going through a collection of QSL carried by PCK there  was the last  “ wow” -  an  AIR QSL which in one card had two QSLs of AIR Srinagar and AIR Aizwal scribbled in !! Yes two QSLs we had noticed them in one QSL card!! Such DX catches, DX tete-e-tete, DX “wow” and fellowship was the spirit of the IDXCI 35th Anniversary Dxped to Henry's Island near Bakkhali in West Bengal India.

Supratik Sanatani (VU2IFB)
26th January 2016



Sudipta Ghose VU2UT, Baranagar, West Bengal.
Supratik Sanatani VU2IFB, Kolkata, West Bengal
Babul Gupta VU3ZBG, Barasat, West Bengal.
Tripti Ranjan Basu, Rahara, West Bengal.
Debanjan Chakrabarty VU3DCH, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Pradip Chandra Kundu, Agartala, Tripura
C. K. Raman VU3DJQ, Delhi.
Alokesh Gupta VU3BSE, Delhi.
Jose Jacob VU2JOS, Hyderabad, Telangana.

3325       23-Jan-16             1200       22322    Indo, RRI, Palangkaraya, YL talk
3480       23-Jan-16             1207       22442    Kor, Voice of the People,YL talk
1566       23-Jan-16             1211       33433    Chin, FEBC, talk by OM
1188       23-Jan-16             1219       22332    Kor, Korea?  YL talk
603         23-Jan-16             1238       33433    Thai, Thailand unid, talk by YL, Music
13840     23-Jan-16             1245       44544    Eng, RNZI, talk by OM
13845     23-Jan-16             1300       23322    Eng, WWCR, YL talk
3320       23-Jan-16             1309       22422    Kor, Pyongyang BS, talk by OM
1269       23-Jan-16             2106       33443    Malayalam, Asianet Radio, songs, announcement
5011       23-Jan-16             2119       22332    Malagasy, Radio Madagasikara, songs, YL talk
4750       23-Jan-16             2125       33433    Indo, RRI. Makassar, music
5025       23-Jan-16             2134       44444    Eng, ABC, news
3925       23-Jan-16             2145       22442    Jap, Radio Nikkei, talk by OM
3955       23-Jan-16             2147       33443    Fren, KBS, OM / YL talk
3975       23-Jan-16             2148       33443    Arab, Radio Vatican, OM talk
3925       23-Jan-16             2206       23322    Jap, Radio Nikkei, OM talk
5890       23-Jan-16             2220       33333    Eng, BBC, Current affairs
9350       23-Jan-16             2226       22322    Eng, WWCR, talk in English
9505       23-Jan-16             2230       22332    Eng, WHRI, music
9735       23-Jan-16             2239       22442    Jap, RTI, YL talk
9790       23-Jan-16             2241       44444    Span, RRI, YL talk
4885       23-Jan-16             2257       22442    Unid, Unid Latin, talk by om
5050       23-Jan-16             2303       33443    Chin, Unid, music
4845       23-Jan-16             2307       22442    Unid, Unid Latin, talk by om
4775       23-Jan-16             2317       22222    Span, R.Tarma, talk by om
4865       23-Jan-16             2331       22442    Unid, Unid Latin, OM talk
5025       23-Jan-16             2350       22442    Span, R.Rebelde, song, YL talk
5040       24-Jan-16             0005       22442    Eng, RHC, OM talk, news
4875       24-Jan-16             0012       22442    Port, Unid Latin, music
1269       24-Jan-16             0025       44444    Bang, AIR, Agartala     
1269       24-Jan-16             0025       44444    Tamil, AIR, Madurai      om talk
4800       24-Jan-16             0525       33443    Chin, CNR, OM / YL talk
4820       24-Jan-16             0526       44444    Chin, PBS,OM / YL talk
4905       24-Jan-16             0526       44343    Chin, PBS,YL talk
4920       24-Jan-16             0528       44444    Chin, PBS, YL talk
5915       24-Jan-16             0532       44444    Chin,Unid, OM talk
5935       24-Jan-16             0533       44444    Chin, PBS,OM talk
5970       24-Jan-16             0536       24422    Chin,Unid,YL talk
2325       24-Jan-16             1147       22442    Eng, ABC Northern Territory music
2500       24-Jan-16             1203       22442    BPM, time signal, voice id
3925       24-Jan-16             1220       22442    Jap, R.Nikkei, YL talk
6055       24-Jan-16             1322       22242    Jap, R.Nikkei, YL talk
4010       24-Jan-16             1325       22422    Kyrgyz   Kyrgyz Radio, song
4500       24-Jan-16             1327       44444    unid, PBS, YL talk
4750       24-Jan-16             1330       22422    Chin, CNR, OM talk
4765       24-Jan-16             1331       22222    Tajik, Tajik Radio, music / YL talk
21505     24-Jan-16             1335       44444    Arab, R. Saudi, OM talk
567         24-Jan-16             1447       32232    Eng, Lao National Radio news
1503       24-Jan-16             1458       33433    Thai, unid, YL / OM talk
1260       24-Jan-16             1502       22322    Urdu, PBC, id, YL talk
1197       24-Jan-16             1505       33333    Tamil, AIR, Tirunelveli  talk om
4950       24-Jan-16             2100       22322    Port, R. National Angola, YL talk
4870       24-Jan-16             2102       22422    Indo, RRI Wamena, OM talk, music
15190     24-Jan-16             2112       22422    Port, R. Inconfidencia, OM talk, music
738         24-Jan-16             2121       33443    unid, DZRB, OM voice, music
11580     24-Jan-16             2133       22422    Eng, RMI, Rel prog
11780     24-Jan-16             2137       33433    Port, R. N. Barzil, music, talk
11935     24-Jan-16             2140       33433    Port, R. RB2, OM talk, music
9200       24-Jan-16             2210       33443    Chin, unid      
9350       24-Jan-16             2212       22422    Eng, WWCR, Rel talk by om
9565       24-Jan-16             2216       22222    Span, Radio Marti, talk by OM
11830     24-Jan-16             2247       33433    Indo, IRIB, OM talk
11880     24-Jan-16             2249       22322    Eng, RHC, music