Tag Archives: Bruce Atchison

DXpeditions: Bruce remembers “hunting for rare game”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce Atchison (VE6XTC), who shares the following notes from a DXpedition over 30 years years ago. Bruce writes, “While going through some old blog posts, I found this one about a DXpedition I took in 1984.”

HUNTING FOR RARE GAME.

In past posts, I’ve mentioned my passion for radio. It began with my discovery of distant stations on my dad’s car radio when I was ten years old and continues to this day. Because my memoirs deal with subjects other than distant signal reception, referred to by radio aficionados as DX, I haven’t been able to write much about this infatuation.

One aspect of hunting for DX is travelling to remote locations that are free of man-made interference. When I learned that my cousin Wayne, was going hunting near Lodgepole in October of 1984, I begged a ride with him.

In a clearing along a cut line, I erected a seventy-foot-long wire antenna and connected it to my general coverage receiver which I powered with a car battery. While Wayne hunted moose, I tracked down exotic stations. Just as the fresh autumn air invigorated me, so did the crystal-clear reception of stations which I could barely hear back home.

At our makeshift camp site, I often let my cousin listen to the radio. This occasionally led to some strange situations. As we ate breakfast early one morning, I tuned in a station from Papua New Guinea. To my astonishment, the announcer began playing country music. There we were, two Canadians in the Alberta wilderness, listening to American country tunes from a station on the other side of the Pacific ocean.

Another memorable radio moment happened one night when I picked up a coast guard station in contact with a ship somewhere in the Pacific. Somebody on board it was hurt and needed a doctor. The radio man could barely speak English and the American on shore could barely understand the sailor’s accent. If it wasn’t a serious situation, it would have been comical.

My uncle Bob, who hunted in a different part of the forest, met us one evening as we relaxed by the fire. When he asked what I was doing with that fancy radio, I showed him by tuning in Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster.

Uncle Bob gawked at the set and listened in awestruck silence for a minute. “I can understand that,” he exclaimed as a news announcer droned on in German. “I can understand everything he’s saying. How can you pick up a signal all the way from Germany?” he marvelled.

I couldn’t even begin to explain the intricacies of F2 radio wave propagation to him so I said, “Signals like that always come in like that on the short wave bands.”

I felt sad at the end of the week when we packed up and drove toward Edmonton. Though Wayne came back empty-handed, I had the fulfilling experience of listening to far away stations free of annoying buzzes from TV sets and power lines.

Thank you for sharing those wonderful memories, Bruce!

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Bruce’s shortwave music is influenced by Holger Czukay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce Atchison, who shares the following in response to our recent post about musician Holger Czukay:

I love Holger Czukay’s music, especially with CAN. I especially love the
song, “Animal Waves.”

I also incorporated shortwave sounds in my own music.

Here are video links to my YouTube page which might interest you.

CHU Canada

Click here to view on YouTube.

A Short Wave to Shortwave

Click here to view on YouTube.

Stop Listening Now

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thanks for sharing your work, Bruce! Very cool! I need to get you in touch with David Goren for inclusion in a future Shortwave Shindig!

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Bruce believes the CC Skywave is an ideal travel radio

The C.Crane CC Skywave

The C.Crane CC Skywave

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bruce Atchison, who recently shared his positive comments about the CC Skywave. Bruce writes::

This is a lot of radio for such a small size. The CC Skywave is a great travel companion because of its portability and price.

Moreover, it’s rich with features. The receiver tunes in AM and FM as well as all the shortwave bands, NOAA weather channels, and the aircraft band. The latter comes in handy while you’re waiting for flights so you can find out immediately and directly what is delaying them.

It also has a built-in alarm clock so you needn’t miss the next morning’s activities.

The Skywave runs on 2 AA cells and can be set to charge NiMH rechargeable batteries. Its mini-USB port lets you use the AC adaptor or 12 volt cigarette lighter adapter. You can even use one of those cell phone solar panels to power the set.

This radio’s reception is excellent and its filters allow for eliminating adjacent channel interference. Apart from its rather high noise floor on AM, the receiver pulls in stations at night very well.

The Skywave can also add local stations to its memory pages automatically. This comes in handy in foreign cities when you don’t have time to manually scan the AM and FM dial.

This is truly a globe trotter’s accessory. You can set it to European AM channel spacing and the Japanese FM band. The radio even has a fine tuning setting for oddly-spaced stations.

The three amber LEDs light up the dial nicely and they turn off automatically after about ten seconds to conserve battery life. In fact, the Skywave is amazingly energy efficient.

Whenever I travel, this radio is one thing I’ll be sure to pack. It’s all I need when I travel away from home.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bruce.  Yes, I believe the Skywave is a great little travel radio, too. One of the Skywave features I used extensively while off-grid in Canada this summer, was the weather radio function (Environment Canada and NOAA frequencies are the same). Without Internet, it was an excellent, handy source of weather information.

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