Bruce has been enjoying late night, high band activity. How about you?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce (VE6XTC), who writes:

Hi Thomas;

Are any other North American shortwave listeners hearing Chinese and North Korean stations in the 19, 16, and 13 meter bands in the dead of night? I heard plenty of regional stations plus North Korea on 15180 KHZ after 4:00 UT, February 13th. China Radio International was also broadcasting in English on 17730 KHZ with a program about Chinese New Year music. Most of the signals were quite strong on my CC Skywave SSB receiver with about 4 meters of random wire for an antenna..

Since nobody else I know knows as much as you and your blog readers, I’d like to ask you and them about this question.

73,

Bruce VE6XTC

Thank you for sharing your experience and question with us, Bruce. Lately, I’ve had very little in the way of late-night listening sessions so really can’t comment. With that said, I love openings like this. It’s amazing to be on a band that is dead quiet, yet have DX stations pop up from nowhere.

SWLing Post readers: Please comment if you, like Bruce, have been enjoying some late night, high band DX!

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10 thoughts on “Bruce has been enjoying late night, high band activity. How about you?

  1. Walt

    Out here on the west coast, I often hear CRI and Voice of Korea in the evenings, and really no one else up there. In fact, I can often demodulate the DRM broadcasts from China on 11 and 13 MHz, but not daily. Once in a while Radio Purga can be heard on 25 meters in the early evening, too. That’s from Siberia in DRM.

    Reply
  2. Andrew (grayhat)

    Bruce, last summer, at night, I was able to pick up FM transmissions from central Africa (I’m in Italy) so I believe you, propagation and “temporary tunnels” are strange beasts, all I can say is… try to optimize your antenna system (anything from the rx to the aerial) as much as you can, reduce the noise (choke, filters…) and it WILL pay out, or at least, that has been my experience

    note: the above does not mean sheeting out truckloads of money, just understanding how to improve the antenna system, then one will be able to “DIY” a lot of very simple stuff which, some people, sells as “magic” for $$$$

    my 2 cents

    Reply
  3. Robert Richmond

    I often take a VFO spin in “contrarian” DX hunting. My first upper HF visit at night usually is 11m CB. If there an 11m DX opening, especially during dark hours, you sometimes can stumble across interesting broadcasts and transmission above the expected MUF.

    Moving down the spectrum to mid-HF, the 20m amateur band is another possible nighttime hotspot, too. 20m typically is active somewhere at practically all times, so it can be a good place to snag late night DX.

    Disregard the MUF and roll the VFO. It only takes a few minutes to check. 🙂

    Likewise during the day. It might not always be long-haul DX, but you might be surprised by the amount of regional comms occurring there assuming your QTH is not buried in daytime RFI and relate noise.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Atchison

      Very true. I punch in 27185 which is CB channel 19 on my CC Skywave SSB radio. If there’s activity, I know the lower bands are going. In August of 2019, I found a wonderful skip opening. What a great evening that was for DX. It also brought back memories of my CBing days back in the 70s.

      Reply
  4. Bruce Atchison

    Thanks for your input. I’m 60 miles northeast of Edmonton, Alberta. Could I be catching auroral reflections? The signals are quite fluttery but understandable. Most nights, the bands are dead but those openings do happen once in a while.

    I also know the frustrations of omnipresent QRM. My neighbours have touch lamps which put spurs all over the spectrum. When they fire up their plasma TV, I get a harsh buzzing all over the AM dial. The interference seems to travel along the power lines.

    Reply
    1. Jake Brodsky, AB3A

      If the signals are fluttery, I’d say you’re probably right about the Aurora.

      Many years ago, a late friend of mine, Bill, WA3ZMY heard a conversation on 20 Meters. Both stations had their beams aimed at each other along an east-west path, and they were having a hard time communicating. Bill could hear them both and knew that sound of a signal bouncing off the aurora. He suggested that they both to turn their antennas northward.

      They were able to copy each other well enough to pass the traffic they needed.

      Reply
      1. Don Irwin

        Bill Irwin, WA3ZMY is my dad. As you know he passed in 1999. He was a heck of a guy and a heck of a ham. I appreciate seeing your recollection.

        Best wishes,
        Don Irwin (ex WB3BNJ)

        Reply
  5. Eric J. Smith

    Thanks for posting this. I am in the Great Lakes area of the U.S. and I haven’t experienced this phenomenon but it’s worth checking out.

    Generally speaking, due to propagation conditions anything above the 31 mb is silent but for WRMI and other U.S.-based broadcasters), RCI and Radio Habana Cuba. Every now and then I can receive Radio New Zealand International on 15720 at around 0200 GMT but it’s the exception more than the rule. (My biggest impediment these days is horrible local QRM from a source I can’t seem to identify.)

    I’ve found morning conditions to be more favorable for Asian stations. For example, I have been receiving Radio Thailand on 9940 kHz with moderate strength beginning at 1200 GMT and Voice of Korea can be heard fairly consistently on 9435 and 11710 kHz in the morning EST. All India Radio can be heard on 11560 kHz at 1345 GMT. (I miss the AIR External Service broadcast in English.) There have been occasions where Voice of Korea can be heard well into the afternoon on these frequencies.

    Reply
  6. Eric J. Smith

    Thanks for posting this. I am in the Great Lakes area of the U.S. and I haven’t experienced this phenomenon but it’s worth checking out.

    Generally speaking, due to propagation conditions anything above the 31 mb is silent but for WRMI, RCI and Radio Habana Cuba. Every now and then I can receive Radio New Zealand International on 15720 at around 0200 GMT but it’s the exception more than the rule. (My biggest impediment these days is horrible local QRM from a source I can’t seem to identify.)

    I’ve found morning conditions to be more favorable for Asian stations. For example, I have been receiving Radio Thailand on 9940 kHz with moderate strength beginning at 1200 GMT and Voice of Korea can be heard fairly consistently on 9435 and 11710 kHz in the morning EST. All India Radio can be heard on 11560 kHz at 1345 GMT. (I miss the AIR External Service broadcast in English.) There have been occasions where Voice of Korea can be heard well into the afternoon on these frequencies.

    Reply

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