Tag Archives: DXing

Brazilian DX heard in Oxford UK, with venerable Sony ICF-2001D

Hi there, I thought I would share some Brazilian shortwave catches with you, obtained using my Sony ICF-2001D receiver and 200 metre experimental longwire. The first is Radio Bandeirantes, Sao Paolo on 9645.4 kHz. This is a station that I’ve only heard once or twice previously, but was received with excellent signal clarity and strength recently, using my deployable longwire antenna. I would rate this station as moderately difficult to receive with reasonable discernibility. The second is Radio Novo Tempo from Campo Grande, on 4894.9 kHz. This station I would rate as difficult to hear with discernible audio. The key is always signal-to-noise, thus moving yourself out of the ubiquitous blanket of QRM most modern environments endure will usually achieve this and of course coupled with sufficient space outdoors to erect a larger antenna will hopefully also improve signal strength. My final video on this post is Radio Nacional Brazilia on 6180 kHz. I would regard this station as quite easy to hear well; their effective TX power towards Europe is around 2 MW, however, outdoors, this station can literally boom in, with what might be perceived as local-AM signal strength. I hope you enjoy watching the videos and seeing/ hearing what’s possible with a modest set-up. As for the Sony ICF-2001D? Well the design is more than 30 years old, but in my opinion at least, still one of the very best portable shortwave receivers ever manufactured. Thanks and 73.

 

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log for reception video of Radio Bandeirantes

 

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log for reception video of Radio Novo Tempo

 

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log for reception video of Radio Nacional Brazilia

 

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

Radio Guinée 9650 kHz Conakry, Guinea; a strong signal with clear ID received in Oxford, UK

guinea

A strong signal with a clear ID from Conakry, Guinea, heard in Oxford UK on 08/08/16 at 18:04 hrs UTC using my trusty Panasonic RF-B65 and a 50 metre longwire. No SYNC of course, but once again, the vintage Panasonic performs very well for this personal-first reception. I do have another recording of this station using the Sony ICF-2001D, from which a performance comparison can be made at a later date. Great to hear Radio Guinée by the way; I believe they had been off-air for around 5 years, until earlier this year. Click the image below to watch the reception video on Oxford Shortwave log.

panasonic bigRadio Guinée 9650 kHz Conakry, Guinea, heard by Oxford Shortwave Log

Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

Wembley Stadium: A Superb DXing location

Oxford-Shortwave

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Clint Gouveia, who writes:

As the designated driver, I found myself waiting for friends at the Beyonce concert at Wembley Stadium last Sunday [July 3rd], Not wishing to miss an opportunity and taking advantage of 8 stories of elevation (top floor of the car park!) I spent about 3 hours DXing with the legendary Panasonic RF-B65 and a Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop, running on my home-brew battery pack.

Rather counter-ituitively, I quickly discovered there was basically zero QRM and recorded wonderful signals from Zanzibar BC, Radio Bangladesh Betar and Radio Oromiya. Links to the reception videos on my youtube channel ‘Oxford Shortwave Log’ follow below. I thought readers of your excellent website/blog might be interested to learn that sometimes the most unlikely of places can provide just about optimum conditions for DX! There are more reception videos for this particular session to upload,including Radio Fana, Voice of Tigray Revolution and Radio CANDIP.

73!

Reception Videos

Video 1: Zanzibar BC 11735 kHz, best ever reception

Video 2: Bangladesh Betar 13580 kHz, wonderful reception

Video 3: Radio Oromiya 6030 kHz, Ethiopia, best reception to-date

Wow! What amazing reception, Clint!  I would have never guessed that a car park next to the largest stadium in the UK would offer up such excellent listening conditions. Honestly–that Bangladesh Betar broadcast sounds like a local station.

You also have a great receiver there in the Panasonic RF-B65. If memory serves, the RF-B65 is also a favorite of SWLing Post contributor/DXer, Dan Robinson.

Post readers: Follow Clint’s many DX catches on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log.

Thanks again for sharing, Clint, and reminding us that DXing locations aren’t always remote and exotic.

Norway DXer tunes into CBC Saskatchewan

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to my pal, Sheldon Harvey (of the International Radio Report and CIDX), for sharing this news item from the CBC News in Saskatchewan:

Ole Forr is a 58-year-old radio lover who tunes into radio stations across the world for fun

A dairy farmer in Norway went to great lengths to tune into CBC Saskatchewan.

Sure, The Morning Edition with Sheila Coles is the No. 1 morning radio show in Saskatchewan. But few people could have expected it to reach a group of listeners more than 5,800 kilometres away— and not through the internet.

Ole Forr doesn’t let thousands of kilometres and the Atlantic Ocean get in the way of his hobby.

[…]Every late October, Forr and three friends visit a remote location in northern Norway, where he said they spend up to two weeks listening to radio broadcasts using some very long-range receiving antennas.

On Oct. 27, 2015, Forr tuned into CBK 540 AM from Andøya, Norway.

“It’s very remote, so there is no man-made noise,” Forr said. “From October to March, it’s very dark up there so to have dark between the transmitter and the receiver.”

Forr contacted CBC Saskatchewan to verify his recording, providing MP3 evidence of the broadcast.[…]

Read the full article, along with audio, on the CBC News Saskatchewan website.

Thanks again, Sheldon! I love stories like this that give our radio hobby a little time in the limelight!

Guest Post: Wellbrook 1530LNPro vs ALA1530S+ Imperium Loop Antennas

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted DXer, Guy Atkins, for the following guest post:


Two-Wellbrook-Loops-001

Wellbrook 1530LNPro vs ALA1530S+ Imperium Loop Antennas

-Guy Atkins

This past weekend I found some interesting results from medium wave DXing with both models of Wellbrook Imperium loop antennas at the “fabled” Rockworks cliffs near Manzanita, Oregon USA. This location has become popular the last few years with Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia DXers due to the signal enhancement at this narrow strip of land approx. 450 feet above the Pacific ocean. The main benefit seems to be splatter reduction of “pest” stations due to the signal blockage of the rock walls blasted into the cliffs for the coastal highway 101. However, a boost of signals around local sunrise is also beneficial, and is a common occurrence near salt water beaches.

Here is a Google Maps Street View of this beautiful “wide spot in the road” along the cliffs.

Ultralight-Cliff

Because of the limited space along this scenic coastal highway, all antennas used for DXing need to be both compact and temporary. Wellbrook loops supported on pro-audio speaker stands are a great way to go, and can easily be set up in the pre-dawn darkness.

Comparison

Both Wellbrook loop antennas mounted on "pro-audio" tripod stands right at the cliff edge at Rockworks Cliffs. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

Both Wellbrook loop antennas mounted on “pro-audio” tripod stands right at the cliff edge at Rockworks Cliffs. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

This is a comparison file of weak signal reception with the two models of Wellbrook Communications “Imperium” series loop antennas: the ALA1530LN “Pro” Imperium and the ALA1530S+ Imperium.

Both models of compact, 1-meter dia. active loops are excellent for reception from longwave & medium wave upwards. However, the ALA1530LN “Pro” excels at LW & MW with its low overall noise level and 9dB higher gain, engineered by Wellbrook for improved signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of up to 10 dB. S/N on the HF bands is reportedly better also.

My laptop running HDSDR software in my SUV; the receiver is an Elad FDM-S2. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

My laptop running HDSDR software in my SUV; the receiver is an Elad FDM-S2. (Photo: Guy Atkins)

On the weekend of October 24th, 2015 I was DXing at the “Rockworks” cliffs on the Oregon coast near Manzanita, OR. Both of these Imperium series antennas were in use and I was recording the medium wave band with an Elad FDM-S2 SDR receiver. Both antennas were fed with identical 25 ft. lengths of RG-58 coaxial cable.

The demonstration in this video begins with 10 seconds using the ALA1530LN Pro Imperium loop, alternating with 10 seconds with the ALA1530S+ Imperium loop.

The first signal tuned is aviation voice beacon “SQM” from Level Island, Alaska on 529 kHz (400 watts). The signal is weak, but audible as it rises above the noise floor. The reception improvement with the ALA1530LN Pro is evident.

Half way through the recording the frequency is switched to 1710 kHz, where an unidentified station (possibly a MW pirate) is audible playing the 1967 Zombies tune “Time of the Season”. Again, the clip starts with 10 seconds with the ALA1530LN Pro alternating with 10 seconds of the ALA1530S+ Imperium.

Each antenna is a worthy, compact loop for DXing, but for chasing the weakest signals with the best readability I think the ALA1530LN Pro shows its advantages.


Many thanks, Guy, for sharing your loop research! 

What I love about your portable SDR set-up, is that you can go to the cliff side, set up your antennas and equipment, record the spectrum on your SDR, then go back home to analyze and listen to what you captured.  It takes some of the pressure off while you’re on-site. 

This year at the Dayton Hamvention, I purchased the Pixel Technologies RF PRO-1B mag loop antenna. I used it (for the first time) at the PARI DXpedition. We were all impressed with its performance. I would love to compare it with the ALA1530LN Pro at some point in the future.