Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Mid-Finland-QTH – tests around July-August

This was my first QTH when I started DXing, maybe most of QSLs and reporting was done here almost in the center of Finland (geografically) from 1970-1977 – Haapavesi. Actually this is my birth place. The QTH is about 500 kms North from Helsinki area and indeed the spectrum on MW is a bit different.

There has been problems of noise, first in 70´s – 80´s mostly due to the 20 kV powerlines, afterwards since about 1977 or so when the watersystem was done with a nearby pumping station. These disappeared later on and the main problem since then was the “open air” 20 kV powerlines.
But since about two years all the powerlines are now buried down to earth and indeed the noise of this is gone (at least the most of that).

Of course when visiting the QTH there used to be some switching PSUs and – during these tests an old television set (so called picture tube set) usually on in the evenings and most of nights.

But all in all, it was nice to listen to a MW-band without the noise used to be in Southern Finland. And indeed during the daytime, only NRK 153 kHz was heard; rather ok signal btw. Faroes 531 was observed as a tiny carrier only. Nothing from St Petersburg and the MW-band was rather clear.

Unfortunately at this time of year it is hard to get antennas to directions but “Middle East”. Well the testing antenna of a longwire (250 meters) was pointed just towards Abu Dhabi. So the results of stations heard were mostly “Iran, Iran, Iran”. Though a couple of other DX-stations were noted, the most Easternly Taiwan (1143) and something from Africa, like  Kenya (“KBC Radio Taifa”) 1152 and 1206 Mozambique. Of course Nigeria 917 was there as well. Usually on 1152 when Romania c/d was at 2100 utc the UAE Voice of Kerala boomed in, but indeed sometimes KBC made it through. And on 1170 UAE booming compared to what is usually heard in South - Koper.

Well, the antenna was actually pointed out to Abu Dhabi - and indeed at the same time there was a partial Lunar eclipse going on... at the time of the picture the moon was at 135 degr. / just as the wire. Because of the partial eclipse it seems the part of the full Moon has been "eaten". You can see the longwire at the left part of the picture. And those "supporting trees" seems to be high and strong enough to carry the wires now, after about 15 years since they were implanted...

Looking at the future - the "big KAZ-tree" has been growing here from 1976 and maybe next year it is time again to erect a new KAZ-antenna using this tree, now being about 15 m height ( West-East) - let´s see!

Unfortunately, at my main DX-QTH – King´s Village – the noise still makes MW-dxing almost impossible.
The next project is to find the source of that…

And the next MW-season seems to begin soon; just if you look at the sky ...


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Towards the "Turning Point" 21st June

Optimistic ... yes a bit too optimistic

It seems I was a bit too optimistic with my ALA1530 antenna and restart of DXing (after more than 1,5 years of inactivity). Indeed the loop provides nice signals of European strong stations on MW and those still having their SW tx alive. But the fact is, that at my urban home QTH the noise level seems to be too high after all. There has been also some strange part of the SW spectrum with occasionally very high noise around 5 Mhz as can be seen at the screenshot using my good old SDR14 with a large spectrum view of 30 MHz.
On MW only a few "peaks" and some signals with audio has been observed since May 5th until today from the Western Hemisphere.
I have to compare the look at the spectrum at my rural QTH later on. Let´s see if the noise observed about 2 years ago there is still making problems of real dx.

Empty channels ?

Another interesting change compared a few years back on MW was the numeber of "open channels" for real DX, as many of high powwer Europeans have stopped broadcasting on MW. These frequencies includes a numer of Russians, German stations, French stations etc. This explains some good loggings of rather rare Far East and Australian stations even here in Southern Finland. Let´s see how the situation is next season.

Another Spectrum view (49 mb, 6095-6195 kHz)

I did some monitoring on 49 mb, usually only this small spectrum of the higher part of the band. What was interesting around 02 utc was that many of the strongest stations (that can be seen on the spectrum view) were one of rather small Latins like the Bolivian Santa Cruz 6134.8, North American CBC Canada 6159.97 and the Peruvian Radio Tawantinsuyo 6173.9. Of course there were two usual Bolivians on 5952.5 and 6024.97, but also some stronger international stations (China of course the strongest one). Anyway compared to situations a few years back it seems so interesting.
From Asia some of worth mentioning are Laos on 6129.97 , now free from the interference of The Chinese station and RRI Palangkaraya 3325 with the Ramadan program starting before 20 utc. There has also been an carrier around 3344.8, maybe Ternate is still active ?

Another DRM  on 810

When checking the MW I found again the typical DRM noise on 810. Could this be from Abu Dhabi or is there an European still doing some tests using DRM? Unfortunately the real "ID" could not been detected because of the low S/N ratio (maximum around 3-4 dB). Like earlier observation on 1440 (which I thing should be Pulpit South Africa - which is the only DRM here as far as I know - and actually recently found screenshot shows the  format "religion" - maybe worth while to check them...) only the "frame" without the real ID text was noted here).

I hope to test the ALA1530 at the rural QTH later on. And if the noise situation has improved there hope to get some bigger antennas as well before the next season.

The Summer Solstice is coming...
Soon - so I send You all who might be reading this the Very Best Wishes for the Summer Solstice 21st June! Indeed that happens on 21st June at 04.24 UTC!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Updating coming soon...

Hi All;

It seems that I can not be without my radios (sdrs..)  although I tried that more than a year now. Anyway all my best wishes to all who might be wandering here... As far as I see now after almost 1,5 years of inactivity of dxing, a lot of changes has been done lately and the bands seems to be a bit different in Europe.

Currently, I have an ALA1530 at my urban QTH and no antennas at the King`s Village QTH, but hope to see some improvements before the next dx-season (sometimes in August/Sept.).