By Rob Wagner, VK3BW, Melbourne, Australia
Sourced to the EDXP DXLOG June 2002
recent long-weekend holiday granted by the Prime Minister for
DXing achievements (see elsewhere in DX LOG! ) gave me an opportunity
to take most of the family to the bayside town of Rye, on the
Mornington Peninsula. I'd been very busy at work during the previous
week, so the break away was much appreciated. We rented a lovely
house right near the surf beach. And, although the area is well
populated these days, an added attraction was that this house
was located on a large bushy block, AND the powerlines were situated
So, with my recently purchased second-hand Yaesu FRG100, an ATU and a roll of wire, I set up the temporary "shack" in the dining room off the kitchen. After arrival on the Friday night, I commandeered the services of my youngest daughter to stumble around in the darkened backyard with me as we strung up a long-wire of around 20 metres. Next morning, a second wire in a different direction was also set up, but this time it was also attached to the wire fence that bounded the property, giving a total length of well over 90 metres!
What was disappointing, however, was the fact that electrical noise was still prevalent from 2mhz right through to around 7 mhz. It wasn't the general hash that I receive at home, but a rather loud buzzing noise. I checked to see if there was anything on in the house that might be causing this problem, but no luck there. I disconnected the antenna from the receiver to see if it was coming through the mains, but no luck there either. This was something definitely being picked up by the antenna. I had hoped that underground powerlines would have helped.........and they probably did! Those of you who have DXed on the coast before will no doubt have experienced arcing powerlines from salt encrusted insulators at the tops of the poles. So, there was none of that beachy-type of frying from coastal powerlines at this location. But I never did find out where the buzzing was coming from.
The second, longer antenna certainly helped the situation. With the fence-driven antenna, signals increased by 1-2 S-points on the meter, allowing weaker stations to get through the buzzing sound. So I ended up not using the first antenna for the remainder of the holiday.
I was lucky enough to listen at various times of the day throughout the holiday. Whenever there was a lull in the family action, the radio would be on in the corner of the room ready to go! Headphones are essential on these occasions for peace required from (and by!) the other family members........and also because you can sneak away and do a spot of DXing without them knowing that you are not really there. One just has to be ready to turn the thing off when the rest of the family needs to do something!
Below are some logs that I found interesting from that location, many of which could not be heard from home. I have divided my observations up into mornings, daytime, evenings and middle-of-the-night. Most monitoring occurred in the tropical bands on up into 31 metres, as it is in the tropical bands that I have the greatest problems with noise back at home:
It was great to finally hear some Latin signals! These have been quite absent at the home QTH. However, I do remember them being so much stronger in "the old days".
3300.5 R Cultural, Guatemala City. Delighted to catch this one at 1200 with ID and TC, faded by 1210.
4746 R Huanta 2000, Peru. ID at 1122 as "Radio Huanta Dos Mil,......la esmeralda de los Andes". Can't believe that this is only 300w as it appeared to be much stronger.
4761.8 Unid Latin, perhaps R. Guanay, La Paz? 0645
4781 R Oriental, Tena, Ecuador. Spanish talks at 1140, good level.
4784.5 RTVM Bamako. Presumed this at 0645 in French. Poor level.
4805 R Dif. do Amazonas, Manaus, Brazil. Rapid fire news reading at 1015, occasional IDs . Also earlier at 0925.
4815 R El Buen Pastor, Loja, Ecuador. Also announced at R Alli Michic at 1145, fair level.
4824.5 La Voz de la Selva, Iquitos, Peru. Lively Peruvian music and Spanish anncts at 1007.
4832 R Litoral, La Ceiba, Houndras. Pleased to hear this one at 1150 with hymns in Spanish. Not enough detail to use in a reception report however. Pity!
4919 R Quito, Ecuador. Another reliable station heard over the three nights from 0630 to past 1150.
4960 Unid Latin noted at 1200, perhaps R. Federacion, Ecuador? Very weak.
5029 University Network, Costa Rica. Noted every night with English religious talks, between 0630 to past 1200.
5039 R Libertad, Junin, Peru. Music just prior to 1200, only noted on one night.
5055 TIFC R Faro del Caribe, Costa Rica. Noted various times between 1015 and 1200 but a weak level.
Only did this on one evening - just happened to be awake!
2850 Pyongyang, dom svce at 1635 with classical music and occasional anncts. // 3320 also heard but 2850 was much stronger!
2310 VL8A Alice Springs with the all-night program at 1655. Also noted 2325 VL8B Tennant Creek and VL8K Katherine.
4760 AIR-Port Blair, past 1700 with Indian classical music.
4790 Azad Kashmir Radio via Islamabad. Koran chants at 1705 with the characteristic R. Pakistan txer hum and poor modulation!
4820 AIR-Kolkata, mixed with Russia's local svce at 1715
4840 AIR-Mumbai, 1710 with Indian vocals. Also noted 4880 AIR-Lucknow, 4910 AIR-Jaipur and 4920 AIR-Chennai, all at great strength!
Mixed success with the tropical band Africans on this trip. Several strong signals but not much else.
4845 Nouakchott. Nth African vocal music and Arabic anncts at 2225.
4950 R. Nacional, Luanda, Angola. 2130 to past 2320 in Portuguese with Afro pops and topical talk.
4965 Christian Voice, Lusaka, Zambia. Always reliable every morning.
5010 RTVMalagasy, Antananarivo, FF talks at 2230
5030 RTV Burkina, Ougadougou, French programming past 2330! Occasionally noted with local languages, too.
5985 Brazzaville, Congo Rep. Talk-back program in French at 2150. Suddenly off at 2303. No sign of RFE or VOA at this time. Great signal!
5995 Bamako, Mali. Afro pops at 2155, fair but in the clear.
6020 Hanoi. Minorities svce under Ukraine with ID at 2200.
6045 Gweru, Zimbabwe. TC at 2203 in a local language then music, good level.
9565 R. Tupi, Brazil. 2215 with Portuguese talks. Much splatter from Iran on 9570.
9645 R. Bandierantes, Brazil. Music and light talk at 2220, only fair.
During this time, I got a bit more of a look at Bob Padula's 0000-0400 survey. Since my expedition to Mt Donna Buang a month or so ago, many more signals were noted, so it was good to catch a few things on 49 and 41mb. Still no luck hearing anything on 60mb. Also had no further luck catching the Brazilians. Here is a brief, edited summary of what was heard between 0000 and 0200:
5865 Voice of Greece-Kavala
6030 R Marti-Greenville
6040 R. Marti-Greenville
7280 R. Nederland-Madagascar
7365 R Marti-Greenville
Plus many stations in the 31mb.
All in all, a nice weekend radio-wise. Thanks for reading all this!
Rob Wagner VK3BVW