Monday, December 01, 2014

November 2014 Verifications

WQSC Charleston SC 1340 (facebook) – “graveyard” station # 200.
KCIK Kihei HI 740 (tnx OJS)
KLER Orofino ID 1300 (pdf)
KBAM Longview WA 1270 (tnx ABU)
KUOM Tumwater WA 1340
KGIW Alamosa CO 1450
KGGS Garden City KS 1340
WBUC Buckhannon WV 1460
WNDE Elkins WV 1240
WMCR Oneida NY 1600
KUIK Hillsboro OR 1360
KPIO Loveland CO 1570
KEWE Kahului HI 1240 (Hawaii # 30, on test mode at low power)

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 Verifications

KKAN Phillipsburg KS 1490
WAOS Austell GA 1600
WNDA New Albany IN 1570
KVSV Beloit KS 1190 (Tnx OJS)
KDCC Dodge City KS 1550 (Tnx ABU)
Rete Italia, MacKay QLD AUS 1611
KLFJ Springfield MO 1550 (Tnx ABU)
WGAM Manchester NH 1250
KVSH Valentine NE 940 (Tnx OJS)
WBEX Chillichote OH 1490
WNSW Newark NJ 1430
KEYE Perryton TX 1400
KGWU Uvalde TX 1400
KKOW Pittsburg KS 860
KAJO Grants Pass OR 1270
WIRY Plattsburgh NY 1340
KCRC Enid OK 1390 (Tnx ABU)
KCMN Colorado Springs CO 1530
KMBI Spokane WA 1330 (facebook)
KOKL Okmulgee OK 1240
KCNW Fairway KS 1380 (Tnx OJS)

KNOT Prescott AZ 1450 (Tnx OJS)

Friday, October 17, 2014

KONG24 - Day Seven

Final evening! OJ and TJ leave on Saturday morning, so we were hoping for some really hefty signals last night and today.  Not so....

Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunrise and sunset times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right. Red line on the time scale illustrates the total strength of the stations in the band (10-kHz stations only)

Only the 04:00 UTC full hour provided any signals of interest, but on the other hand they weren't all that interesting after all. Stations noted were KGYN-OK 1210, KPOW-WY 1260, KGOE-CA 1480. Maybe more interesting stuff will materialise as we check the recordings.

OK weather, light to fresh breeze, mostly dry and +1C.  

Dinner-wise we always save the best meal to the last day, so today was reindeer tenderloin day. The meat was accompanied with fried mushrooms, potato paste and woked carrots, scallions and shallots. With these excellent ingredients, we opted for an exquisite Italian red, the 2007 Gattinara. For dessert we enjoyed dark chocolate pudding with vanilla custard. An eternal favourite. The picture of the day honours the main course:

I will leave Kongsfjord for Vadso later on Saturday or early Sunday, so this is the last KONG24 blog post, unless exceptional conditions appear tonight. Thanks to all who had the patience and interest to follow us in our Arctic Endevour!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

KONG24 - Day Six

Clearly the best night so far! The spectrum below should illustrate this, interesting signals from around 01:00 to 08:00 UTC.
Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunrise and sunset times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right. Red line on the time scale illustrates the total strength of the stations in the band (10-kHz stations only)
With continous recording, there is lots to check so we stayed on 1450 during most of the night and caught some partly interesting stations: KZZJ Rugby ND, KVCK Wolf Point MT, KBMW Breckenridge MN, KATE Albert Lea MN, KWBE Beatrice NE, KGIW Alamosa CO and the big surprise KNOT Prescott AZ before rounding off with KLAM Cordova AK. Quite a handful! Hopefully there will be a few surprises on other frequencies as well.

Today was our traditional day of eating out, and as luck will have it the nearest restaurant is only 2 minutes walk away. And they make food like few others. So this is what we had, cod in butter sauce, potatoes, broccoli and carrots. Quite a traditional dish in this part of the solar system.

At Kongsfjord Guesthouse. From left Bjarne, OJ Sagdahl, TJ Bråtveit

Weather was reasonably nice to us today, a little windy but dry and around 0 Celsius. I had an 8 km road run and really needed my Icebugs on the icy surface.

Picture of the day features a different kind of icebugs, our iced-down cars with studded tyres.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

KONG24 - Day Five

Very interesting. Solar data said "you're not supposed to hear anything."

But we did!

Not much for very long though. As  you can see from the spectrum below, propagation varied a lot, and mostly the interesting bits came at 02:00 UTC with stations like WIBX-NY 950, WDCZ-NY 970, WSOY-IL 1340, WNSW-NY and KTBZ-OK 1430, WBEX-OH 1490 (04:00), WFLR-NY 1590, CJEU-QC 1670 and CHTO-ON 1690.
Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunrise and sunset times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right
Asia/Pacific was lost in noise.

After snow showers overnight, parts of the day was sunny and clear, and the Telenor repair team managed to get the 3G connection working early in the afternoon. Hence the pictures!

Dinner tonight was bruschetta with home-made sour-dough bread. The main course was ecologically bred (or so the label said) chicken fillets with woked leek and red onion. Assorted cheese for dessert. With the cheese we enjoyed a glass of Japanese single malt whisky, kindly supplied by LA9VFA Olav Skår, a good neighbour (albeit 160 km away) but also a whisky connosieur.

The picture of the day shows the fine weather we enjoyed at least parts of the day.

The remains of ocean swells  pounding on my beach

Celebrating 40 Years As a MW DX-er

On October 15, 1974 at 0230 UTC I logged my first trans-polar MW station. It was KJNP North Pole, AK on 1170, fighting with Radio Capodistria, then Yugoslavia. It wasn't necessarily meant to be.

I had been introduced to DX-ing two years earlier, and used various domestic radios in this early period.  I logged, reported and QSLed a number of SW stations at the time, and it was great fun. However, after two years I thought I had heard what I could hear on the equipment I had available, and in the spring of 1974 interest was starting to wane.

I was persuaded by seasoned MW DX-er Arvid Frøsland to test the coming autumn for North American MW stations. He and fellow DX-er Ole Forr were moving north to Lakselv, not far from where I lived at the time (a mere 6-hour drive...). So I purchased my first communications receiver, the Trio-Kenwood QR-666 and set up a sort of longwire antenna from my 1st. floor bedroom in Berlevag.

The QR-666 had terrible readout accuracy, but was very sensitive, and during early autumn I heard many interesting stations from Asia on the Tropical Bands. MW wouldn't open until mid-October, and we were impatient to say the least. Then came October 15, and I was hooked!

A new world opened, and US and Canadian stations travelled across the Pole to my modest radio shack at a steady pace. Many hadn't been heard before in Norway, and some not even in Europe. I received QSLs from around 75 North American stations that first season, not even using a tape recorder. The first QSL was not KJNP though. CFRW Winnipeg MB operated on 1470 at that time, and they were very quick to send off their QSL.

Activity was high to semi-high from 1974 until 1979, then again from 1984 to 1988 and from 1995 up until now. The latter period much to the credit of fellow KONG DX-ers who never allowed me to relax too much...

The QR-666 was replaced with a Yaesu FRG-7 in 1976. Much better readout accuracy, but the way I remember it the QR-666 was better overall. In 1979 I finally had enough money to buy the famous but so expensive Drake SPR-4, every DX-ers dream in the 1970's. It remained my main receiver until 1995, when a modified JRC NRD-515 was bought. A couple of years later it was replaced with NRD-525s, in 2006 came the Icom IC-746Pro and SDR-IQ, and finally in 2008 the Perseus which is still the main rig (I have two). Lot of other receivers have been in my shack; search this blog for details.

I've been a bit lazy with regards to reporting stations, a couple of years I didn't do it at all. Still, I reached 1000 North America QSLs not long ago, with Washington highest on the state list at currently 63 stations verified.

Almost all the stations I heard back in 1974 are now regarded as dominants. And many, especially from Canada, are gone. But KJNP is still there. And CFRW Winnipeg, although the frequency has changed  to 1290.

On October 15, 2014 at 0230 UTC I tuned in to 1170 to see if KJNP was audible, 40 years after.. It was. And still fighting with Radio Capodistria, now Slovenia.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

KONG24 - Day Four

Very quiet geomagnetic conditions...however not much to be heard although signal levels were high. The MW spectrum shows some interesting anomalies, as conditions appear to vanish and reappear for no obvious reason:
Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunrise and sunset times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right
There were little or no changes in geomagnetic conditions which should have triggered these changes. But then maybe we don't have access to every relevant solar data.

Nothing spectacular overnight - I noted WUNR-MA 1600 which is by no means an unusual guest here, and  many other dominants. Then conditions disappeared, but reappeared at around 10:00Z with a surprise logging of KELY Ely NV 1230.

Sadly enough, Arnstein Bue had to leave us this morning to attend matters at work.

We usually enjoy a very stable and quite fast internet connection here, however this norning it was all but gone. Only a very slow capacity remained. It turned out that they are setting up a new broadcast tower in Kongsfjord, and moving equipment from the old tower, including our 3G connection which is now more like a 0.3G connection. Hopefully things will be ok by tomorrow afternoon.

Quite a bit of snow fell during the night, and the wet sleet/snow induced a lot of noise on the beverages - to the extent that the band was covered in noise at times.

Here's the picture of the day, taken at around 7:30 am during a lull in the snow showers. Weather later improved with sunny spells but the showers continued throughout the day and the forecast is more snow.
+1 Celsius was the maximum temperature today.

Monday, October 13, 2014

KONG24 - Day Three

Very quiet geomagnetic conditions overnight, which is good for DX. Well not always... here's the spectrum from last night and today:
Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunrise and sunset times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right
Very good signal levels well into the morning, but when conditions are exceptionally quiet, short beverages like the 310 tend to have a large capture area - so large that there are "too many" stations on a frequency and only the strongest and dominant ones are audible for any length of time. We also had some problems with weather-induced noise.

Good signals from some South American stations like Tropical-1040, Caracol-1100 and Santa Fe-1070 and many of the usual eastern and mid-west stations. On the 340 beverage reception was more confined to the western time zones with KACH-ID 1340, KLIZ-WA 1400 etc. heard.

The 50 beverage brought very nice signal levels from Radio Kiribati 1440, otherwise it wasn't too exciting.

Between snow showers, OJ and I decided to do a 6k terrain run to the Kongsfjord lighthouse, and of course, half-way we were caught by a hefty hail shower. That's me below. 

Another memorable day dinner-wise. For starters we had King Crab on toast with a mix of mayonnese and red chili. The main course was rack of lamb on a bed of vegetables. Dessert was our "usual" cheese selection, manchego, roquefort papillon, chevre, gruyere, sovrano and a vacherol. For entertainment we had Arnstein's MP3 playlist plus some Youtube videos, including the epic Foo Fighters/Led Zeppelin "Rock 'n Roll" and Pearl Jam/Neil Young "Rockin' in the free world".

Picture of the day: Taken during a light snow shower. Still on the positive side of freezing though. By a few decimals.

Solar forecast this evening says Polar K-index up to 5, and that's a lot! But maybe we will experience some interesting conditions during the night? Time will tell.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

KONG24 - Day Two

A lot better! We're not really there yet, but a dramatic improvement from yesterday as this 310 beverage spectrum shows. The 340 beverage kept the signals going for even another couple of hours.
Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunset and sunrise times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right
Some of the catches were CJMS Saint Constant QC 1040 (new for me), WJON St. Cloud MN 1230, KWKW Los Angeles CA 1330, KCOW Alliance NE 1400 and KPMC Los Angeles CA 1540.

The 10:00 UTC full hour brought local IDs from a number of Japanese NHK-1 stations, including a 100-watt relay from Atsumi on 1584 and JOJP Tsuruoka 1368, 1 kW. Not much from the Pacific, although we did hear Radio Kiribati 1440 and we had a semi-decent X-band opening to Australia at 14:00.

Weather is quite nice with calm winds and +2 Celsius. We had occasional sleet-induced noise on the antennas this morning, and this may continue on Monday as the weather forecast warns for fresh breeze with sleet and snow showers.

Dinner today was a three-course event. For starters we had baked mushrooms filled with garlic, olive oil and bacon. Of course we needed a good wine for this, and the TreRose Rosso di Montepulciano 2012 did not let us down.

The main course is the signature dish of the KONG expeditions, namely the KING Crab. Baked on a salt bed and served with proper pasta carbonara, it's a royal meal. We chose a white wine for this seafood, and the Fernway Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand was an excellent choice.

After a long pause we managed to squeeze in some dessert, almond pudding with red (artificial) raspberry sauce. A little rum and aquavit rounded off the evening.

Geomagnetic conditions appear to be good, so we have hopes for the coming night!

Below a picture from Sunday morning.

KONG 24 - Day One

Right! Then came Saturday, and the 24th DX-pedition on the top of the world has begun. It's becoming a habit. First, names and equipment:

Arnstein Bue: Two Perseus SDR
Bjarne Mjelde: Two Perseus SDR, one NetSDR
OJ Sagdahl: Two Perseus SDR
TJ Bråtveit: Two Winradio G33DDC (Excalibur Pro), one G31DDC (Excalibur)

A number of PCs, displays, and around 60 TB worth of hard drives is necessary to make things go round. Each of us controls at least two PCs, either by remote desk top or LogMeIn Pro. For internet access we have three 3G subscriptions, average speeds are 17 mbps down, 4 mbps up.

A quick description of our antennas (including, literally speaking, an aerial photo) is found here.

Arnstein, OJ and TJ arrived by rental car from Kirkenes airport around 2 pm local. Since all antennas and equipment were already up and running, we could all start listening right away. Conditions were exceptionally poor though, with the Japanese super dominant STV Sapporo 1440 barely audible. Later on we did hear traces from 4QD Emerald, AUS on 1548. The spectrum from the previous night on the 310 beverage shows the sorry state with barely audible signals at around 04:30 UTC.

Overnight monitoring of the MW band on the 310 beverage. Sun symbol illustrates local sunset and sunrise times. Sunset times for North American cities indicated to the right.
The first dinner on KONG24 had a local main ingredient, namely reindeer meat. This, together with carrots, potatoes, celeriac, onion, leek, swede and red chili was woked and then cooked into a stew with cream and sour cream. Two Langhe Nebbiolo accompanied our main course. For dessert we had the traditional chocolate pudding with custard, and we tasted a couple other wines as well, such as the Allesverloren 2011 and a little surprise for us, the German Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) from Weingut Mohr-Gutting.

At the time of writing this at 01:00 UTC, conditions seem to be on a slow ascent. Geomagnetic data is mostly positive and I hear stations, albeit weak, on most frequency on the upper half of the band.

After an exceptionally mild autumn temperatures are now more Octoberish, -2 Celsius last night and around +2 during the day. Absolutely dead calm which is by no way Octoberish. The photo below was taken from my house at sunrise Saturday.

More as it happens!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

September 2014 Verifications

WLEC Sandusky OH 1450
WQOM Natick MA 1060 (USA excl. Hawaii # 800)
CJAD Montreal QC 800
CJRS Montreal QC 1650 (rcvd in March; overlooked)
KLUP Terrel Hills TX 930
WXTG Hampton VA 1490
KLIO Wichita KS 1070
KLFD Litchfield MN 1410
KDAK Carrington ND 1600
WQBA Miami FL 1140
KQQZ DeSoto KS 1190
KDDR Oakes ND 1220
KREW Plainview TX 1400
KRZI Waco TX 1660
WBGZ Alton IL 1570
KDCO Golden CO 1550 (Thanks OJS!)
KEDA San Antonio TX 1540
KFJB Marshalltown IA 1230
KWHW Hutchinson KS 1450 (Thanks OJS!)
KQSP Shakopee MN 1530
WMDR Augusta ME 1340

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Terrible Weather...And A Log From Last Season

Weather's been terrible this autumn, storm following storm - on the sun, that is. Only two new stations heard so far in September. However things seem to be about to improve as solar activity has decreased quite a bit.

I decided it was time to compile my loggings from the previous season. If you find interest in looking at seven pages of pleasure, clik the link on Arctic Radio Logs to the left, or, if you don't want to move your mouse, click here.

September weather on this tiny spot of Mother Earth has been excellent with temperatures 3-4 Celsius above normal and very little rain. It's cooling off now with snow forecasted on higher altitudes (which in this part of the country equals 200 masl)

Monday, September 08, 2014

Arctic DX Summit - Day Four (Departure Day)

This morning finally a glimpse of trans-atlantic stations, faint and distorted signals from Brazil and probably Peru 1570. Proton levels still very high, so this was a bit surprising.

Monday is departure day, and all antennas, receivers and PCs are up and running. Yesterday's dinner was cantaloupe with ham and a light touch of fresh oregano for starters. The main course was reindeer steak with potato pate (with carrots & garlic) and a mushroom sauce. Chocolate pudding with vanilla custard for dessert. A new red wine was introduced to Kongsfjord this time, the South African Allesverloren. Everything was definitely not lost with this one as it turned out to be a very nice wine indeed. We also enjoyed the good old Miss Harry from Australia, for some strange reason still not available in Norway.

Partly cloudy and some sun today, 7 Celsius this morning.

We'll meet again, as the old song says, for the KONG24 DX-pedition starting October 11.

Below some pictures from the past few days.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Arctic DX Summit 2014 - Day Three

Not much happened on Saturday, except quite a few problems with Windows network settings for a couple of the guys. The proton levels continued to be much too high for any DX, but this morning it seems to finally having started a slow descent back to normal.

We were out for a stroll in the afterooon, and actually spotted a minke whale, a rare sight this close to shore. It was elusive enough to avoid our cameras, however I caught a lot less elusive OJ while he was waiting for the whale to resurface.

Yesterday's dinner was a nice treat: For starters bruschetta with ham, tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. The main course was fried salmon slices on a bed of woked vegetables and boiled/fried (!) tagliatelle. Very nice indeed. Strawberry jelly with real custard (not vanillin) for dessert. Wines: Chianti Classico for the bruschetta, Kim Crawford for the main course.

I engaged the 340 beverage for a couple of full hours this night, hoping for Africa on its back lobe. With the exception of the superpowered Jil FM 531 from Algeria, there was practically nothing. Sunrise at 02:37, so at 03:00 the band was empty as you can see from the spectrum below. 657 is the semi-local Radio Rossii, Murmansk.

Sunday morning weather is breezy, a little rain and 8 Celsius.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Kongsfjord Radio Show

By popular demand (aka Allan Helm), here is a more detailed description of our equipment.

On the latest count, there are six Perseus SDRs, one NetSDR, one Winradio G31DDC and two Winradio G33DDCs. There are around 20 hard drives (mostly Seagate and Western Digital) from 2 to 4 TB each.

The boxes on top of the Perseus in the picture are preamps. The boxes below are antenna switches.
Photo: OJS

We also have three Telenor 3G internet modems with typically 17 MBPS down and 3 MBPS up for remote operation. 3G is a vast improvement over the previous 450 MHz ICE internet connection. All internal network connections are cabled, no wifi.

The PCs are everything from large desktop to small desktop to micro desktop (Intel NUC) and laptops. They range from very new processors to at least two years old. OS is mostly W7-64 but also W8.1-64. Mostly the hard drives are connected through USB 3 ports.

We want to avoid cheap, noisy, switching PSUs, so all the hard drives are powered by amateur-grade linear PSUs (mostly Diamond). Everything save the PCs are using 12VDC. The Perseus and NetSDR are powered by USB 3 from a PC or (mostly) separate linear 5V supplies. The original PSUs are not used.

Arctic DX Summit 2014 - Day Two

Saturday! Protons! Caffè Latte! Cappuccino! Pop-Quiz on NRK!

Yesterday we erected the dual 340 beverage, although far-end ground termination is not yet in place. We also set up all the gear for this winter's DX; below is Arnstein's and OJ's SDRs and hard drives.

The 1974 Tandberg Huldra 11 (US version is TR 2025) has been reduced to being an SDR support.

Yesterday's dinner started off with  fried bits of salmon and butter sauce, with fried ham, accidentally reduced to mostly carbon.

The main course was chicken fillets, marinated in Provence-type spices, butter sauce (OJ made a lot) and mashed potatoes. Assorted cheese for dessert.

We tested a few new wines and one old: The latter, Calle's Riesling went well with the salmon while a bottle of La Vieille Ferme 2013 was considered appropriate for the chicken. A Trerose 2012 kept it company. A Gigondas 2011 tasted well with the cheese (or the other way around). A Ron Zacapa rum, supplied by TJ, rounded off the dinner.

Weather is quite OK, 9 Celsius, light winds but occasional rain.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Arctic DX Summit 2014 - Day One

So, it's that time of the year again!

OJ Sagdahl, TJ Bråtveit and Arnstein Bue arrived at Kirkenes yesterday at noon; we met along the road and after a short detour to Finland to buy assorted wines & beers we arrived in Kongsfjord at 16:00 local.

Most of the afternoon and evening was spent setting up PCs and drives, new internet modems, taste beer and elevating the 310 and 50 beverages from BOG level to normal height. 12 Celsius, dry & light breeze in the evening.

As is usual on day one, dinner is premade fish gratin. A new Kiwi red wine was chosen, the Sileni Teeri from Hawke's Bay. We had chocolate pudding with custard for dessert, and a Chatau d'Aqueria Lirac to go with it.

Early this morning at 06:00 my guests were still asleep so the "radio room" is still empty.

Today's work is erecting the dual 340 beverages, secure proper end termination on all beverages, and set up the radios and cables. To be fair, we really don't have to worry, because the display in the background of the picture above has this dreadful jpg:

While our motto is "expect the unexpected", proton levels like this are discouraging to say the least. Maybe we can check for back-lobe Africans after we set up the 340 beverage.

Weather is relatively mild for September, 8 Celsius this morning, calm and light rain.

Monday, September 01, 2014

August 2014 Verifications

WLBN Lebanon KY 1590
KLBB Stillwater MN 1220

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Another Season Coming Up - Preparations

The midnight sun had its last display on July 27, so evenings are getting darker even if the time span from sunset to sunrise is only 7 hours - and it still doesn't get completely dark at local midnight. However, from this time onwards, Australians are possible to hear if propagation is right, so today was getting-out-the-500-meter-50-degrees-beverage-day. It will be a BOG until I'm sure there are no reindeer around.

This beverage is very directive, and dead quiet. I have often wondered if there was something wrong with it. 50+ MW stations from New Zealand over the years is proof enough there's nothing wrong. Below is a comparison with a makeshift 55 metre L-antenna I've had up this summer. The Perseus on top displays the waterfall from the L-antenna while the SpectraVue display below is the beverage. Almost no signals on the beverage! Which is according to plan because the L picks up Middle East and eastern European stations while the beverage doesn't. For example, IRIB 1449 was measured 20 dB weaker on the beverage than on the L-antenna this afternoon.
L-antenna Perseus on top, 50 degrees beverage SpectraVue below.
A new PC in Kongsfjord this year is the Intel NUC, a desktop PC as small as it gets. Actually it uses Intel's laptop CPU line. It was bought for remote operations only, using LogMeIn Pro - however there were some unexpected obstacles to this setup. To make a long story short it isn't designed for "headless" operation, i.e. remote operation without it being connected to a display or audio peripheral. So I had to 1) buy a dummy video adapter with enough resistance to fool the video driver into believing there is a display at the other end, and 2) make a dummy audio jack for the same purpose (30 ohm resistor over the center and ground leads). That done, it works very well indeed. The 19V external, switching PSU is quiet.

It has four USB 3.0 connections, two video connections (mini-DVI and mini-HDMI). It can be equipped with an SSD of your choice, and has two RAM slots plus one Wifi/bluetooth slot (which I didn't bother to fit since I run cabled network). Basically you have to buy the PC barebone, plus the necessary boards and OS, and install the lot yourself. And then download all the drivers from Intel to make it work properly.
Intel NUC. On the left from above: Power plug, video output (to dummy adapter), USB peripheral. On the right from above: dummy audio jack, USB output to external HDD.

Another great improvement over previous years is internet! The past several years we have had to rely on a wireless internet provider which could only supply 0.5 to 1.3 MBPS down and a little less up. This summer, the largest mobile phone company in Norway (Telenor) set up 3G in this tiny village. We are now enjoying a comparative luxury of 15-20 MBPS down and 3-5 MBPS up. And the connection is much more stable too. This will make remote operations a lot easier.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 Verifications

JOCG NHK-1 Asahikawa 621

JOCG NHK-1 Asahikawa, Enbetsu relay 792

JOCG NHK-1 Asahikawa, Wakkanai relay 927

JOCG NHK-1 Asahikawa, Rumoi relay 1161

Thursday, May 01, 2014

April 2014 Verifications

KSYC Yreka CA 1490
WQLE259 TIS Prudhoe Bay AK 1610 (10 watts)
KVOC Casper WY 1230
KMIK Tempe AZ 1580
WMFJ Daytona Beach FL 1450 (North America # 1000)
KWLC Decorah IA 1240
XECO Cd. Mexico, DF 1380
XEKH Queretaro, QE 1020
KMAJ Topeka KS 1440
WPGG Atlantic City NJ 1450

HJAH Emisora Atlantico, Barranquilla 1070

Several: Thanks OJS and ABU

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 2014 Verifications

WGL Fort Wayne IN 1250
WMAN Mansfield OH 1400
WMAX Bay City MI 1440
KPRL Paso Robles CA 1230
KBCV Hollister MO 1570
KLNG Cedar Rapids IA 1560
WATW Ashland WI 1400
KRPL Moscow ID 1400, # 800 from USA
KGRZ Missoula MT 1450
WHIR Danville KY 1230
XEAP Cd. Obregón, SON 1290, thanks Henrik Klemetz
YVRM BBN Radio, Caracas 1260, thanks Gert Nilsson
WDER Derry NH 1320
KIKC Forsyth MT 1250
WAKI Mcminnville KY 1230
CJRS Montreal QC 1650
KQTY Borger TX 1490
KCKM Monahans TX 1330 (DX test)
KLXX Bismarck-Mandan ND 1270
WPHY Clayton NC 1590
WDXY Sumter SC 1230
WNWI Oak Lawn IL 1080
KREL Norman OK 1400
KATH Frisco TX 910
KOBB Bozeman MT 1230
KGND Vinita OK 1470
KYAL Sapulpa OK 1550

Several: Thanks OJS and ABU

Saturday, March 22, 2014

DX Test: KCKM Monahans TX 1330 Heard

Bob Souza, GM and owner of KCKM did a DX test today from 05:01 to 05:31 UTC. KCKM's 12 kW, non-directional daytime facility was used. Conditions weren't very good (as is usually the case when DX tests are on the air), but 1330 had fair signal levels from WLOL and CJYM at the time so I was optimistic.

I had reason to, as I heard sweep tones at 05:05, and the signal improved over the next half hour until the test stopped at 05:35 (probably a few minutes late). Especially nice signals at 05:25 with sweep tones and morse code ID.

Monahans is located in the south-western part of Texas, not far from Mexico and New Mexico. The distance from the transmitter site to the Kongsfjord antenna site is 8044 km or 4998 miles.

Thanks to Bob Souza for doing the test, and to Paul B. Walker for preparing it!

Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014 Verifications

WLNO New Orleans LA 1060
YVNE Radio Uno, Caracas 1340
KDUN Reedsport OR 1030
WQEW New York City NY 1560
WEPN New York City NY 1050 (both NY: Thanks OJS)
WCCY Houghton MI 1400
CKHJ Frederickton NB 1260
CBKF2 Gravelbourg SK 690
CJWI Montreal QC 1410
KGOW Bellaire TX 1560 (thanks Arild S)
KBBS Buffalo WY 1450, see QSL here, and this news story

Saturday, February 22, 2014

KILI1 Master Log & RF Recordings Ready For Download

The RF recordings are available from this location. Download the files you want to check (mouse right-click, then "save as...". Do not left-click to open the file. It will likely start to play back in your favourite playback software, and that won't work.

The first files were two-minute recordings. We later increased to four minutes, partly because the PC clock was 30 seconds wrong (the typical TOH will appear around 30 seconds later), and partly because many stations do not ID at the exact hour.

The Master Log is a Google spreadsheet. Anyone with the link is given access to edit the log, and we encourage everyone to edit this specific log so everyone interested can see what's been found. We haven't done much work trying to identify all stations, so there should be lots of challenges even if many stations are already identified.

Five locations were used for the RF recordings:
1. Arusha (more specifically Moivaro Lodge, in the eastern outskirts of the city). Altitude 1400 masl.
2. Shira 1 camp, altitude 3505 masl.
3. Shira 2 camp, altitude 3950 masl.
4. Buffalo camp, altitude 4150 masl
5. Third Cave camp, altitude 3950 masl

Unfortunately we were unable to set up the equipment for Zanzibar recordings. Any problems regarding the RF files or Master Log, please email me or use the Comments section.
Me in the tent, checking a recording made with the SDR-IQ on OJ's Sony Vaio

Monday, February 17, 2014

The KILI1 Team is Back!

Well, we have been for a while actually...

We did collect SDR recordings from most of the camps we were in, and with some interesting results. Unfortunately, we were unable to do recordings from Zanzibar. We are presently reviewing the recordings for a master log to be published shortly. Following this, all SDR recordings will be made publicly available, and there will be lots of stuff waiting to be ID'ed by trained ears. We did in fact log four continents (from what we know now) with our short (25 meter) dipole and SDR-IQ.

Interestingly enough, FM reception on Kilimanjaro was excellent. Any time we did an FM scan on the Tecsun PL-380, 35 to 40 signals were found, most of them from Kenya. In contrast, in Zanzibar we only found four FM stations.

Below is Kilimanjaro as it appears from 4650 masl. A mighty mountain...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2014 Verifications

WIBX Utica NY 950
WYTS Columbus OH 1230
XEUR Radio Fiesta, Cd. Mexico 1530, live greeting here
KAPL Phoenix OR 1300, Oregon verification no 60.
KIHR Hood River OR 1340
KSUE Susanville CA 1240

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Coming Soon: Probably The World's Highest DX-Pedition, KILI1

From February 2, OJ Sagdahl and I will be trekking the slopes of Kilimanjaro. We will bring along a couple of ultra-light laptops/tablets, a longwire and an SDR-IQ for dark hours amusement. After the climb we'll spend a couple of days on the north coast of Zanzibar, hoping to hear some Aussies and Indonesians on MW.

This could be a good opportunity to check out the status of East African MW stations too. Please use the Comments section below, or email us direct, about stations of particular interest. We will do our best to compile a KILI1 log within reasonable time.

Who will do KILI2?