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.
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.
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!
On November 11-14, I was back at our regular DX-pedition QTH at Lista, this time accompanied by Torgeir Nyen. Conditions were quite good and we were able to hear a lot of stations from the USA and Canada which we hadn’t heard previously. Stations from Ontario and Québec were heard especially well while we hardly heard any stations from South America at all.
We both had 2 SDR-IQ radios in addition to a couple of conventional radios so we have a lot of recordings to check! The log already includes more than 120 different North American stations, but will hopefully grow further. Our incomplete log can be found – so far in Norwegian only – as a text document at Google Docs. We will update the log as we check our recordings. Updates done during the last week will be marked with red letters.
On January 12-16, I was back at our DX-pedition QTH at Lista on the southern coast of Norway for the last trip of the season, at least the last for my part. I was accompanied by 2 other frequent visitors, Geir Fredheim and Jan Alvestad. Jan only stayed for the first 2 nights, while me and Geir spent 2 more nights at the Norwegian favourite DX-site in Southern Norway (in Northern Norway the favourite DX-site in undoubtably Kongsfjord).
This time we tried installing antennas in 2 new directions: A new one directed towards the northwest (California) and another one directed towards Buenos Aires. Our usual antenna directed towards the west was also installed. Both of the new antennas produced several new stations (and were thus deemed successfull!) while the antenna towards the west didn’t produce much interesting.
Conditions were varied and better than during the last trip in November. The first and the last night were the most interesting nights with the antennas towards northwest and towards southwest giving the most interesting results. On the first night, several stations from Mexico, Utah and Colorado were heard with the best signals coming from XEPE Cash 1700. The best loggings were 1430 KEZW in Colorado, 1430 KLO in Utah and 1470 XEAI Radio Fórmula in Mexico City. These are all commonly heard stations in the north. For us, however, it was a new experience to hear stations from this part of the USA and from Mexico as I have never been able to hear any other stations from West of the Rockies at all!
Conditions were disturbed on the last night giving several stations from Brazil and Argentina the chance to be heard on our newly installed antenna towards the southwest. Among the stations heard were 920 Radio Nacional del Paraguay, 1270 Radio Provincia de Buenos Aires, 1350 Radio Buenos Aires, 1430 Rádio Clube Paranaense and 1610 Radio Guaviyú 1610.
Update on Nov. 16, 2007: The entire log can now be viewed here, on Google Docs (a Google account is not necessary to view the log, by the way).
Radio UNAM in Mexico was heard for the first time at my place on February 11 on 9599,3 kHz. The station was heard from tune in at 08.50 untill fade out as late as 10.30. Reception peaked around 10.00 when the signal was quite good. The entire programme consisted of classical music with only a few announcements near the top of the hour. The entire programme schedule for this transmission can be found on the stations web pages and by going through this schedule I soon found out I listened to mainly classical concerts by Shostakovich and Berlioz. New stations popping out of Mexico on the shortwave band is a rare event, and I am quite pleased about their signal making it all the way to Norway!
Pleased to hear Wantok Radio Light in Papua New Guinea yesterday, January 8, from 11.20 untill 12.57 on 7120 kHz. The signal was poor to fair and was covered by China Radio International asigning ont 12.57 on the same frequency. The programme consisted of mostly non stop religious programmes with some announcements in English in between the music played. Conditions seem to have improved quite a bit now as this was my very first logging of Wantok Radio Light. I had several unsuccessful attempts in December.