DX-pedition to Lista, February 4-8, 2017

The traditional (and for my part annual) DX-pedition to Lista took part during the first week of February. My DX partners in crime this time was Torgeir Nyen and Tore Johnny Bråtveit.

Conditions were very different from my last 5-6 trips to Lista thanks to much more disturbed conditions this time. This naturally lead to less North American stations being heard. Stations from Central and South America were present on many frequencies though. It has been many years since we heard so many stations from Latin America – a welcome change from what we usually hear at Lista!

Besides the usual 800 metre long antenna directed towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba, we also set up an antenna aimed at UK and Spain. This antenna proved very successful with UK and Spanish stations popping up on nearly all frequencies. Many of the Spanish stations were new to us. The UK/Spain antenna also provided a number of stations from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, a DX area which for us is mostly uncharted territory.

Highlights worth special mentioning was hearing RdP Açores on 828 Khz and Mauretania on 783 kHz. Personally, I especially enjoyed hearing the UK low power stations L&D Radio on 1134 kHz and Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio on 1575 and the new Dutch low power stations Groeistad Radio and Radio Babylona, both on 747 kHz. Most interesting Transatlantic catches noted so far: 960 YVSS Radio San Sebastián, 970 CX22 Radio Universal, 1200 WJUA Pine Island Center FL and 1490 WCEC Haverhill MA.

Our log is now available as a Google Docs spreadsheet. As usual the log is a work in progress with new stations added as our recordings are examined.


DX-pedition to Lista, January 13-19, 2016

In January I was again back at Lista on the south western coast of Norway with my good friend Torgeir Nyen for a weekend of DX-ing and a much needed break from the usual work and family life. A 800 metre long antenna towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba and a 500 metre long antenna towards the Midwest/West Coast of North America was again rolled out, with the hope of catching many new US and Canadian stations.

Sadly conditions were pretty poor and well below average this time making it one of the less memorable trips to Lista. Just like last year, propagation indices were pretty good, but the actual propagation was poor with average signal levels. Add to that significantly more splash from nearby European stations than usual. The frequencies 1360 and 1370 kHz were e.g. unusable due to splash from nearby UK stations most of the time.

Just like the last several years, signals from Central and South America were more or less absent during the entire DX-pedition. The Transatlantic signals making it through to our radios were mainly from the US and Canada. Despite average to poor conditions, some interesting stations were noted such as 950 WTLN Orlando FL, 1280 WPKZ Fitchburg MA, 1380 WPHM Port Huron MI, 1390 WMER Meridian MS, 1420 WBSM New Bedford MA, 1420 WCED DuBois PA, 1590 WIJK Ocean City MD and 1610 CHRN Montréal QC.

Our log is available in a Google Docs spreadsheet. As usual the log is a work in progress with new stations added continuously as the files from our Perseus and SDR-IQ trawlers are examined.


DX-pedition to Lista, January 16-21, 2015

Travelling to Lista on the south western coast of Norway for a weekend of serious DX-ing has become almost an annual rite for me. 2015 was no exception and in January I was again back at Lista for a weekend, this time accompanied by fellow DXers Torgeir Nyen and Geir Fredheim.

Despite good indices, conditions turned out to be as good as expected (or hoped for). Canadian DX-er Walt Salmaniw described the period as “mediocre” at his QTH. “Mediocre” sums up our impressions of the conditions at Lista pretty well too. Not too good, but not very poor either. Compared to our loggings at Lista one year ago, the loggings this time were still disappoiting. We expected a better DX-pedition, especially as the geomagnetic indices were quite good during our entire stay at Lista. But that’s the rules of the game: Although everything seems set for good propagation, there is never any promise ! 🙂

Propagation to North America was particularly poor in our local evenings, no chances whatsoever of logging any daytimers. The mornings were, luckily, much better with decent reception from North America. After reviewing our SDR recordings we also discovered some “new” stations (implicating not logged by us at Lista previously) such as 590 WROW Albany NY, 960 KMA Shenandoah IA, 1320 WJAS Pittsburgh PA and 1480 WSDS Salem Township MI. Propagation towards the Caribbean and South America was again more or less absent, just as has been the case for the past couple of years.

Our log is available as a Google Docs spreadsheet. The log is a work in progress where new stations are added continuously. The log includes an unusually high number of European stations. DX-ing (often small) European stations is also fun now that more and more high power transmitters in Europe close down on AM.

For me, the funniest and most unexpected catches of this DX-pedition was hearing a few stations from Africa for the very first time. I was especially pleased about catching the exotic signals from Nigerian stations 1026 JBC Radio Jigawa and tentatively 972 Katsina State Broadcasting Corporation.

As usual, we used a 800 metre long antenna towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba. This time we also rolled out some some 600 metre of antenna wire towards the Midwest. We had high hopes for the latter antenna which was rolled out all the way into the North Sea, but sadly the conditions were not good enough this time.

DX-pedition to Lista, January 13-19, 2014

In January I made the trip down to Lista on the south western coast of Norway for another weekend of serious DX-ing with the long beverage antennas we can erect there. I was accompanied by Torgeir Nyen even on this DX-pedition. Torgeir drove down to Lista already on January 13 while I arrived 2 days later.

As usual, we used a 800 metre long antenna towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba. This time we also rolled out some some 400 metre of antenna wire towards the West Coast of America. The latter antenna had to cross a road and this wire was cut 4 times by a snowplough during our stay there 🙂  Snow is not very common at Lista, even in midwinter it usually rains there, but this time the temperatures were so low it snowed quite a lot. Fortunately, no problems installing the antennas despite some snow.

Heading out on a DX-pedition at solar maximum implies quite a lot of uncertainty as there is always some risk of an uncooperating sun producing solar flares, coronal holes etc. I expected and even hoped for some disturbances favouring stations in the Caribbean (we are still hunting for Guadeloupe, British Virgin Islands etc…). The unpredictable sun was, however, surprisingly quiet during the entire DX-peditions. The paths towards the south were complete closed and even many regular stations from the Caribbean were weak. Cubans and Florida stations were significantly weaker than they usually are at Lista.

Instead conditions strictly favoured North America. Stations from Ontario and New York State had a particular strong signal. The evenings were particularly productive with several very rare stations being logged with day time power such as 1040 WYSL Avon NY, 1140 WCJW Warsaw NY, 1190 WCRW Leesburg VA, 1470 WPDM Potsdam NY and 1530 WDJZ Bridgeport CT, all new to us. The mornings were also quite good and even some West Coast stations like 1130 CKWX Vancouver BC, 1380 KRKO Everett WA and 1520 KKXA Snohomish WA made it to our radios. These are all very common stations in Northern Scandinavia, but quite rare at such a southernly location as Lista.

Our log is now available as a Google Docs spreadsheet. New stations (to us, that is) are marked in red, latest additions in blue. The log is far from complete yet. When using SDR radios, in our case SDR-IQ and Perseus radios, completing a log takes a lot of time! With more than 150 North Americans stations in the log and more than 20 new stations noted even at this stage, this was definitely one of our most successfull DX-peditions – and quite possibly the best DX-pedition- to Lista of all time.

DX-pedition to Lista, March 9-12, 2013

Last time I did some serious DX was more than 2 years (January 2011), It was thus about time for a new excursion to our favourite DX spot at Lista on the Southwestern tip of Norway. Work and family commitments made it hard to find a suitable weekend, but we finally settled on the second weekend in March. My DX buddies this time was freshman Harald K. Andersen who went to Lista for the first time and Torgeir Nyen who has accompanied many times before.

Choosing a weekend as late as March made us hope for good conditions towards the Caribbean and may be also towards exciting countries like Peru and Ecuador. That didn’t turn out to be the case at all. The paths towards the south were closed with very few stations from South America making it to our radios. Stations from the northern part of the Caribbean were present, but with generally weaker signals than is often the case. Mexican stations were also missing. Instead we were treated with a mix of stations all along the East Coast from Newfoundland to Florida. Only the usual suspects were heard most of the time and conditions were generally much poorer this time than during our last 2 DX-peditions at Lista (November 2009 and January 2011).

Still, a few interesting stations were heard. The star logging of the DX-pedition was definitely 1330 WESR Onley-Onancock VA, a station not heard in Scandinavia previously according to the authorative KOJE list. A few other interesting stations were also noted such as 980 WHSR Pompano Beach FL, 1310 WICH Norwich CT, 1410 CKSL London ON and 1700 KKLF Richardson TX. 

The antenna used was the usual 800 metre beverage antenna pointing towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba. We also installed an 300 metre long antenna pointing towards the UK and Spain. The latter antenna worked very well leaving a.o. 1008 to Radio Las Palmas instead of the dominant Dutch station. This antenna also made it possible to receive some of the RSL stations in the UK using a power of 1 watt only during daylight such as 1134 Gurkha Radio, 1350 Kingstown Radio and 1575 Radio Tyneside. I personally find DX-ing such low power stations just as fun (or may be even more fun) as DX-ing Transatlantic stations.

Despite pretty average conditions with very few new stations making it into the log, it is always fun to be on a DX-pedition accompanied by other DX-ers. Having the opportunity to concentrate on radio and DX-ing exclusively for 4 days is just pure luxury!

Update November 2013: A log is now available as a Google Docs spreadsheet.

DX-pedition to Lista, January 6-9, 2011

I should have written this blog posting a long time ago: It is now more than a year since this DX-pedition took place. On January 6-9, 2011, I was back at my usual DX-pedition site at Lista on the Southwestern tip of Norway. Leaving family behind concentrating on DX only for 4 days is always intriguing and highly recommended for all DX-ers! 🙂  This time I was accompanied with Torgeir Nyen and Tore Johnny Bråtveit for the entire 4 days and for Jan Alvestad (of Solar Terrestrial Activity Report fame) for the last 3 days.

The antennas were the usual 800 metre beverage antenna pointing towards the East Coast of North America / Florida / Cuba and a 500 metre long beverage antenna towards the West Coast. We used the East Coast antenna 95% of the time as conditions were very poor and almost useless towards the West Coast. I was equipped with software defined radios only: 2 SDR-IQ receivers and 1 Perseus receiver.

We had fairly good conditions during most of the DX-pedition. Conditions were most interesting on the first and on the last morning (Jan. 6 and Jan. 9 respectively) of the DX-pedition when we had good conditions towards the U.S. East Coast.  The other 2 mornings were more of a mixed bag with poorer signals and more stations from the Caribbean.  All 4 evenings were a big disappointment with hardly any interesting signals at all. Strangely, the paths towards South America were more or less closed during the entire DX-pedition with only the most common Colombians and Venezuelans making it to our radios.

To our surprise, we also logged quite a number of Mexicans. We were also quite pleased about logging our first Alaskan station ever, 680 KBRW, we had tried to hear Alaska many times previously without success.

After reviewing most of my recordings, I have now published my log from this DX-pedition as a Google Docs spreadsheet. This log in a “work-in-progress” as there are still recordings left to check. Even though I have been to Lista many times before, it is still possible to catch new stations here. I am actually quite surprised (and pleased) to find that more than 40 new stations made it into my log during this DX-pedition.

Best loggings (in my opinion, that is): 570 CKGL Kitchener ON, 590 XEPH Sabrosita 590, 920 WURA Quantico VA, 960 XEROO La Guadalupana, 1020 WURN Kendall FL, 1230 WEEX Easton PA, 1330 WSPQ Springville NY, 1370 KDTH Dubuque IA, 1600 KGYM Cedar Rapids IA, 1660 KRZI Waco TX and 1680 KRJO Monroe LA. 

DX-pedition to Lista, November 26-30, 2009

Before setting out for this season’s only DX-pedition to Lista at the end of November, I had really high hope for the best DX-pedition to Lista ever! Reception of Transatlantic stations on mediumwave had been very good earlier in the autumn, judging from many reports on the web.

As is often the case, it’s when expectations are high that you are likely to become really disappointed! This was also the case this time. Even though the sun was very quiet and all the indices were really favourable, signals just did not propagate! Others DX-ers listening at the same time, such as David Hamilton over in Scotland, had similar experiences and reported that the conditions were in general “very poor”.

The band was more or less completely dead in the mornings, which is the time of the day when rare stations can rise from the noise. The evenings, especially during 22.00-23.00 UTC, were for a change much more interesting than the mornings. Almost all interesting stations were heard between 950 and 1300 kHz, the rest of the band was more or less “dead” or just nor interesting. In the late mornings some West Coast stations surfaced, such as 1000 KOMO Seattle WA and 1010 CBR Calgary AB. Of the West Coast stations, 1140 CHRB High River AB had the best and most consistent signal.

After reviewing most of the recordings, however, we nevertheless discovered a number of rare to semirare stations. Conditions turned out to be much more interesting than we thought when we were DX-ing “live”. We were especially pleased about finding a number of rare stations in New York. Best loggings so far: 930 WPAT Paterson NJ, 1030 Radio Centro (Mexico City), 1060 WLNO New Orleans LA, 1070 WFLI Lookout Mountain TN (huge signal!), 1070 WAPI Birmingham AL, 1410 WENU South Glen Falls NY, 1420 WNRS Herkimer NY, 1570 WVTL Amsterdam NY, 1580 WEAM Columbus GA and 1580 WHFS Morningside MD.

Update January 19, 2011: The log (still not final) has now been posted!