Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to Listen to the Philipinos on MW?

During the "Golden Years of DXing in 1970´s" with loops and small wire antennas (and an old tube receiver) one could easily get a few MW stations from the Philippines also when they started the broadcast day. I remember one of these was DWWW on 1280. And several others, but that was before the Asians adjusted the channels to the current 9-kHz spaced allocation which is everywhere but in Americas.
Things become a lot more difficult later on. However, during wintertime, especially in October, sometimes you can get a few (a dozen seems to be almost the maximum number) of them even in South Finland. What you need is a wire to 50...80 degrees (a beverage could be best or a BOG/LWOG) of about a wavelength long and of course a suitable receiver. Nowadays a SDR-rx which records the whole band before the sunset (usually in Finland around 12-14 utc) at least during the TOH´s is good. A good outdoor loop (ALA100 for example) can be used as well, but you have to reduce the intereference from Europe. In Lapland the situation is of course better.
It seems that last season was not that good as the more Northernly stations (Japan, Korea and Northern China) were often the dominants. For these areas in South East Asia, you need actually a bit more disturbed propagation conditions.
This year I has been able to note at least two good days for reception of Philippinos in October: the 5th and the 10th of Oct. Some new frequencies were noted like 684 (Aksyon Bacolod) and 864 (UNID so far). I have tried to measure some of the offsets (list) as quite a few of them seems to be rather stable on their offsets. From the list all but those on 1422 (maybe back on nominal now?) and 1575 have been noted recently. Some of these might be possible even in Central Europe - at least the easily recognizible carriers? Please note the accurancy of the offsets is about 1 Hz due to the daily variation, Doppler effects and the resolution / accurancy of Perseus (some of the measurements have been done by SpectraVue-IQ).
What's also interesting with the Philipinos is the language (sounds a bit like Spanish) and the style of programming they have (some of them religious, though). Those having "normal" informative / music programs also identifies rather well with call letters and/or slogans. They seems to have to give "the official ID" prior to closing down.
The published lists of "KOJE" etc of NA-MEX stations is a big one as the lists of Latins (and so seems to be the lists of logged "Kiwis" as well nowadays. This is a tiny one, but the small number can become bigger - so let´s try to get them!

New SDR-Equipments & Tools

While waiting for a new NetSDR with the latest versions of software I made some tests with SDR-Radio SOftware. I was not very satisfied to measure frequencies accurately or maybe I just do not know how to do it? However it works OK and especially the easy connection with remote RXs is interesting.

The software has a nice tool to analyze IQ-files to make quick waterfall charts of several files. What I would like to add here is lines of frequency steps (like vertical lines / grids for every Hz or so).

Here is an example of a typical situation on 1580 kHz - the TA conditions were rather poor, but the dominant TA carriers can be seen around the nominal (usually: Maria Barranquilla right below, Bogota station on around +4 Hz and the Dominican on around +16 Hz. I had to adjust contrast to show only the strongest carriers as there are a lot of RFI at my home QTH. Interesting smearing can be seen also before the sunrise.