Thursday, May 19, 2011

Radio Mosoj Chaski 3310Khz

It was late evening yesterday, the sun is going down, but it's still pretty light out yet, and I'm about to head out the door. I had my receiver on Voice of Russia up on 31 meters and before pushed the power button, I made a quick sweep across 90 meters, not expecting to find anything at all when ... WHOA! Here's Radio Mosoj Chaski from Cochabamba, Brazil on 3310khz, and their running S9! They were totally unexpected, but my location was right on the terminator of the grey line, so it shouldn't be that surprising. They only run 8Kw and have a low antenna, so this is a real treat. As the minutes passed by, their signal got weaker. So, here's your tip: don't wait until total darkness at your QTH to scan the lower bands, signals will often peak before your sunset! Here's the video I made:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Radio Argentina Exterior

The QRN levels on HF are finally down to where I can tune 25 meters at least. 31 meters and down are just plain useless however. I heard the usual suspects tonight with perhaps slightly lower signals than a few days ago. Radio Brasil Central was the clear winner.

May14, 2011
0052z    11765khz Super Radio Deus e Amor in Portuguese from Curitiba, Brazil. G S8 with some 11760khz Cuba slop.
0055z    11710khz Radio Argentina Exterior with interval signal for full 5 mins before start of broadcast. G S8. A little slop from 11700khz. Ident in multiple languages, then programming in Japanese. Exact freq. is 11710.47khz, off from their published 11711khz.
0115z    11815khz Radio Brasil Central in Portuguese from Goiania, Brazil G S7. Very listenable with nice music.
0210z     11925khz Radio Bandeirantes in Portuguese from Sao Paolo, Brazil P-F S3 with QRN but no QRM. Not so good at this time due to weak sigs.
0220z    11780khz Radio National de Amazonia in Portuguese from Brasilia, Brasil. G S8

Overall, signals were good at 0100z but by 0230z all of the South Americans were down in the mud. Not sure why.



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 11, 2011 25 meters

Just took a spin through 25 meters. Anything lower is all QRN crashes, but nice conditions to South America!

May 11, 2011

0000z 13690khz Radio Australia in English from Sheppaton. Good S9
0005z 11645khz Voice of Islamic Republic of Iran in Mandarin from Kamalabad. F-G S7
0010z 11711khz Radio Argentina Exterior in Spanish from Argentina. Fair to Good with nasty het on weaker Taiwan, 11710khz. I've got their off channel freq. at 11710.5 which is .5 off their published off frequency, frequency. Hi Hi.
0015z 11765khz Super Rádio Deus é Amor in Portuguese from Curitiba, Brazil. Poor S6 with Cuban slop from 11760.
0020z 11720khz Radio National de Amazonia in Portuguese from Brasilia, Brazil. VG! S9+20db Sun just setting here.
0020z 11815khz Radio Brasil Central in Portuguese from Goiania, Brazil. Good S9. Nice copy.
0025z 11920khz HCJB Voice of the Andes in Porguese from Santiago, Chile. VG S9+10db. Super copy!
0025z 11940khz Radio Diffusion Portuguesa International in Portuguese from Lisbon, Portugal. VG S9+5db Sweet!

Here's a shot of my current antenna arrangement. Not much, but it works! That's right ... no leaves on the trees yet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

FM Broadcast DX

We've got a couple waves of thunderstorms passing through my area this week which has the S-meter on my HF rig stuck at S-9. Not good. So, that's got me thinking about getting my FM DX gear back into shape after a long winter. The receiver I'm currently using is the JVC FX-97 that is modified with 110khz ceramic filters. I've shown that video here a few months ago (link). My antennas are a pair of stacked Winegard 6065Ps.

Unfortunately, right now, one is facing backwards with respect to the other, so I need to crawl up on the roof of the house and spin it back to where it should be. Then I'll be ready to chase FM DX again.  I have been very happy with these antennas. Here is a detailed review of it. "The Winegard HD6065P is a Log-Yagi array with ten elements on a 127″ boom. Four of the elements are driven. A shorted transmission line terminates at a passive reflector. Winegard has discontinued the HD6065P and replaced it with the HD6055P, an eight-element design on an 82″ boom. I've actually got a 6055p sitting in a box that I haven't opened yet. One of these days. Before I put up the Winegards, I had up some Antennacraft FM-6s which, for small antennas, work really well. (link)

To aid in identifying stations I use these resources:

More on those later on, when the season starts picking up, but you can check them out now on your own. Then for a log, I just have a spreadsheet that I put together. Anyway, more on all that when I get my act together and share some awesome FM DX with 'yall!

Shortwave Log May 8, 2011

Spring is truly here, what with lightning static rising to a steady 20db over S9 early this morning on the lower frequencies. I'm still hearing some potent Brazilian signals on 60 meters, so that doesn't mean I'm done DXing my favorite band entirely, but it certainly does mean it's time to shift focus higher up the spectrum. Now, yesterday, I made repairs to my wire antenna and have it up a few feet higher than it was before, and I also changed the direction it's running by about 30 degrees, and so far I'm liking what I'm hearing. Here's my log from late last night, finishing up around 11:30pm local time. I was particularly impressed with how Iran was sounding. Not particularly strong, only about S9, but running all alone which made for wonderful copy. I think this is the best I have heard them in quite a while. Definitely encouraging for what I may hear in the upcoming weeks!

0405z    11945khz BBC in English via Seychelles Islands G S9
0410z    13775khz Voice of Russia in English via Petropavlovsk. Good S9
0415z    13710khz Voice of Islamic Republic of Iran in Azeri from Sirjan, Iran Good S9 Nice copy!
0415z    13695khz Radio France International in French from Issoudun. VG S9+10db
0420z    13690khz Radio Australia in English from Shepparton. F-G S7
0420z    13660khz BBC in Arabic via Cyprus Island. Fair S5 Good copy though.
0425z    13650khz Radio Cairo in Swahili from Abu Zaabal, Egypt. F carrier S5, P audio (nothing new there)

As long as the geomagnetic activity stays low, so that radio absorption over the poles is minimized, we might expect some nights where 19 and 21 meters is open all night long providing us with some exciting possibilities from across the globe. Here's the paths of the stations I logged above. Note that even if you're in middle of the night darkness, the path from across the globe will still be mostly in daytime. So, if you find yourself up out of bed during the wee hours, don't forget to spin across those upper bands. You may be rewarded with some extra special DX you don't usually expect!

This first one represents my location at 11pm local time as I listen to transmitters in full daylight.


This second one represents my location around noon local time as I listen to All India Radio at midnight their time. Half way around the world but most of the path is still daylight which is essential for the upper bands to stay open.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Loggings May 7, 2011

Finally sat down for a few minutes yesterday to check out the bands. The highlight was hearing Sudan on 40 meters. Unfortunately, there was a lot of ham contesting going on which made reception very difficult despite the strong, S9 signal. Will try again this week when the ham activity will be much lower.

FT-767gx + 120 ft inverted L wire up 40ft

May 6, 2011
1555z 11715khz KJES Spanish to Asia Good sig, S9, audio down.
1600z 13640khz s/off of Radio Free Asia from North Mariana Islands in Mandarin
1600z 13760khz China Radio Int. in English from Kashi, China Fair S6 QSB
1605z 13820khz Radio Marti in Spanish from Greenville, NC heavy jamming presumed from Cuba. S9
1610z 13860khz China Radio Int in Russian from Shijiazhuang, China fair S6 with quick polar QSB
1620z 11955khz Trans World Radio - India via Samara, Russia Poor signal S3. 250kw but beaming south, so perhaps hearing it long path? Lots of flutter from going over either north or south pole.
1625z 11815khz Radio Brazil Central fair S4 with Futbol game in Portuguese. 7.5 KW

May 7, 2011
0035z 7270khz Voice of Russia in Russian via Armenia. VG S9+10 with some QRN and QRM.
0040z 7285khz Voice of Russia in Russian via Moldova. VG S9+20 // programming to 7270khz.
0045z 7335khz Vatican Radio in Urdu from Vatican. Good S9, QRN
0045z 7305khz Vatican Radio in Portuguese to SA. VG S9+20db
0050z 7475khz Voice of Greece in Greek. VG Clear freq. S9+20db, only 100kw
0100z 7260khz Voice of Turkey in Turkish. Fair to good with ham QRM. Sun just setting here now.
0105z 7215khz Radio Liberty via German in Kazakh. Good sig S9 but heavy ham QRM (contest weekend)
0110z 7295khz Radio Farda via Germany in Farsi. Good sig S9+10, upbeat USA music.
0400z 7255khz BBC in English via Ascension Island. VG S9+10
0400z 7240khz Deutche Welle via Rwanda in English. VG S9+30db!
0410z 7200khz Sudan RTVC in Arabic via Sudan Tentative d/t heavy ham QRM. Fair S8. That's a new one if true. Will recheck a little later, see if the QRM goes down.