Tag Archives: Paul Walker

Paul’s thoughts about Mediumwave DXing in Alaska

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who has kindly allowed me to published some notes he recently shared among MW DXers about DXing in McGrath, Alaska, USA:
During a Zoom hang out with a bunch of Pacific NW DXers, one of the things that come up was why my DXing in Alaska is beyond amazing, and we’ve come to a few conclusions.

The extended darkness. Sunrise in the middle of winter here is 3+ hours later than the west coast, so once their Skywave burns off, I’m left with darkness over the pole and to my west.

There’re no operating AM stations within just under 200 miles from me which is a big help. I have heard distant signals on the same channel as “semi locals” such as 780 and 1080.
And I’m pretty sure there’s something to the fact I’m close to the North Pole. Still far, but closer than most.

Interesting to note though: pre sunset DX isn’t a thing there. What I’ve unscientifically discovered is it seems to be that the entire Pacific has to be dark for DX  to be worthwhile for me in the evening … despite my evening DX being Canada and the lower 48 US States.
What most everyone else hears at night, such as the transpacific signals from Japan, China, Australia etc…, I hear in the morning. Hearing anything from Asia or the Pacific at night is EXTREMELY rare.

[Since I’m DXing outdoors in extremely cold conditions] I’m getting extra batteries, extra audio cables (to go between the recorder and the radio), another radio, and another recorder. Oh and some hot hands hand warmers. Also have some extra gloves and hats ordered too.. getting prepped for winter DXing well ahead of time!

The hand warmers are as much for my gloves as they are for my digital recorder… AA batteries don’t last long during continuous use in extreme cold.

i also have a portable battery and extra cable so I can use it for my phone. Those lithium ion batteries hate cold even more than aa alkaline batteries–they will shut off in the cold. In fact, you have to not only warm it up but charge it. The cold causes it to think tis dead…. and even warming it up won’t work.

Here’s a video link to my FSL antenna designed and built by Gary DeBock:

DXIng is one of the reasons I moved back up here to Alaska and it’s entirely fascinating. I learn something new every “DX season”.

Lower 48 theory and ideas just don’t hold a bunch of weight up here … I’ve had ideas and suggestions from some really smart people that just didn’t work out.

Until you’ve DXed in Alaska, it’s hard to explain and understand.

Thank you for sharing your notes, Paul! Having never done DX in those latitudes, I can only imagine how different conditions might be–especially in those long, dark winters!

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KSKO 89.5 McGrath, Alaska LIVE Request Show On WRMI Shortwave THIS WEEK!

Join me, Paul Walker, on WRMI Shortwave for “The LIVE Friday Night Request Show Dance Party Thingy” being relayed from NPR/community radio station KSKO 89.5 McGrath, Alaska.

It’ll take place Saturday July 10th 0300-0500UTC on 7780kHz to the east coast US and Western Europe, 7730kHz to the west coast US, Canada along with Hawaii, and the South Pacific (NZ, Aus, etc) and 4980kHz to the Caribbean and South America.

I’ll be taking phone calls with requests with a number given out during the show as it’s truly
LIVE. No station money was spent for this, It’s coming out of my pocket just to have something different up on shortwave for a few hours.

The music during the show could be ANYTHING from any genre and any year. It’s a combination of what *I* want to hear and what listeners request. I’ve had Judas Priest, Garth Brooks and Weird Al Yankovic back to back to back during the Friday night show before because they were all request in that order by 3 different listeners.

A note:  5850kHz/7570kHz is beamed towards Vancouver, 7330kHZ is beamed towards the US/Mexico border according to Jeff white which affords 7730 better coverage of the Pacific Ocean region countries than 5850 or 7570.

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UNID Russian Numbers Station recorded April 26, 2021

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who recently shared this recording of an unidentified numbers station in Russian.

Paul recorded this on April 26, 2021 at 0218 UTC in McGrath, Alaska, on 11,615 kHz:

I’m not an expert on numbers station identification–if you can ID this station, please comment!

Update: Many thanks to a number of readers who have suggested that this is the “S06 Russian Man” station.

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Mystery Ugandan Clandestine On Shortwave

Hi everyone! Paul Walker here, some of you may know me through various hobby circles via email and Facebook groups. I used to post quite regularly when I lived in Galena Alaska back in 2016 and 2017. I’m back in Alaska again, working as the Program Director for KSKO 89.5 and it’s half a dozen or so repeaters in the interior.

Back on Monday May 10th at 0601UTC here in McGrath, Alaska I ran across an unknown station on 15220kHz.  The man was  talking in African accented English but would randomly start talking in another language, which I at the time thought may have been French but very well could’ve been Swahili or some other language spoken in Uganda, I’m not a language expert.  (audio below)

The man was going on and on about Uganda, “our brothers, our struggle, the government”. The audio cut out a few times for several seconds a time, seemingly because this was a live broadcast being fed live over the internet from whatever studio location he was at to whatever transmitter site was being used.

Around 0623UTC, the host sounded like he put his phone up to the microphone and played a Ugandan song of some sort from his phone. After that was over, two studio quality songs played.. The Spice Girls “2 Become 1” and Gabriel Kelly’s “Faith”. Those songs sounded like they were being played out from the transmitter site, not from a computer over the internet. They were clear with no audio hiccups.  The transmitter went off around 0629/0630UTC.

A friend I was chatting with as we tried to figure out what this was said he had a  decent signal on a Kuwaiti SDR and based on some triangulation work using other SDR, it seemed this was coming from Europe, suggesting Nauen or Lampertheim.

The man reappeared on 15170kHz at 1500UTC on Friday May 14th.  I haven’t even been able to try and figure out a schedule. Evenings one day and mornings the next. I pretty regularly scan the dials and have only noticed him these two times, with thanks to Mauno Ritola in the WRTH Facebook group for the spotting of him on 15170khz.

I do have audio of the 15220 broadcast at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J54RGCb00mIAHQ96O86f31T0l0GH0wNG/view?usp=sharing

I would love to know who this is, what transmitter site they’re broadcasting from and any contact information. A google search using the phrase “Uganda Clandestine Shortwave” came up with one hit, Radio Lead Africa and someone in the ODXA email group suggested Radio Munansi.

For anyone wondering, I’m using a Tecsun PL880 with a 8D battery powered DXE PreAmp and 2 Doxytronics tunable loops.. The cross that supports the antenna is sitting a few inches into 5 foot tall 2 inch wide PVC pipe which is then put in a trash can and tote container and filled with sand.  Gotta use what I have on hand here in rural Alaska.

 

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Paul Walker featured as a DXer and broadcaster on ABC Newcastle

Our friend and contributor here on the SWLing Post and the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, Paul Walker, has been interviewed and featured on the ABC Newcastle program Drive with Paul Turton. It’s a great segment! (Congrats, Paul!)

I’ve embedded the audio from this segment below, but you can also listen via the ABC Newcastle website:

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KSKO’s “Virtual Dance Party Request Party Thingy” via WRMI

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who shares the following announcement:

Tune into WRMI for “The LIVE Friday Night Virtual Dance Party Request Party Thingy” from community station 89.5 KSKO McGrath, Alaska.

The broadcast will take place on Saturday, March 20th 2021 from 0300 to 0500 UTC on 7570 kHz for the west coast and 7780 kHz for the east coast. KSKO Program Director Paul Walker is going to be hosting the show and WILL take requests by phone at (907) 524-3001 DURING the show!

It’ll be all kinds of music from the 60s to today from all genres, so there’s probably going to be something for everyone. Paul says, “I’m funding the WRMI airtime costs from my own personal pocket, not the stations bank account. I’m doing it just because, for fun.. because I can.. because why not?”

Thanks, Paul! I’ll certainly tune in and perhaps even call in!

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