Tag Archives: tropical band

Oxford Shortwave Log: dxing in the tropical rainforest of Pará, Brazil – part 1

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Hi there, I was fortunate enough recently for my work to take me to a very remote area of tropical rainforest in Pará, Northern Brazil and of course, I travelled with a shortwave radio. In fact I take a portable with me everywhere – even to work – just in case. During this trip I was using a Tecsun PL-680, for very specific reasons:


  • It can handle a longwire very well without overloading (I actually only used a 5 metre wire)
  • An excellent synchronous detection circuit and audio bandwidth filtering options
  • Excellent sensitivity, as demonstrating by the many DX reception videos on YouTube
  • If it got lost or damaged it would be a pain of course, but not difficult to replace

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img_9928 img_0221Although effectively travelling on business, I was hoping to find the time for a DXing session because I felt it would be really interesting to find out what could be heard on shortwave (and medium wave for that matter) out in the jungle, in the middle of nowhere! The environment was challenging – around 37/38 degrees C during the day and still 33 degrees C at 2 am, all day and night, every day and night! Furthermore, as you might imagine for a tropical location, the place was crawling with bugs lol, including mosquitos and thus a number of vaccinations were necessary, prior to the trip. Several days after arriving, I eventually managed to find the time for a DXing session in the jungle (with another the following week in Barcarena, on the coast).

So, what can you hear in the jungle? Part 1 of my group of reception videos follow below – I hope you enjoy them.


Tropical rainforest DX in Pará, Brazil: Radio Romania International 7335 kHz

 

Tropical rainforest SW in Pará, Brazil: Radio Nacional Brazilia 6180 kHz

 

Tropical rainforest DX in Pará, Brazil: WHRI 7385 kHz, Cypress Creek, Georgia, USA

 

Tropical rainforest DX in Pará, Brazil: Radio Mediterranee 9575 kHz, Nador, Morocco

 

Tropical rainforest DX in Pará, Brazil: EWTN (WEWN) 11520 kHz Vandiver, Alabama, USA

 

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.

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200m longwire update: rarely heard Radio Tawantinsuyo 6173.9 kHz, Peru, recorded in Oxford, UK

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Hi there, I thought I would share my first reception of Radio Tawantinsuyo, from Cusco, Peru, recorded during the inaugural test of my 200 metre longwire antenna. Of course this  particular reception could be coincidence, but a very welcome catch in any case. Once again, the Sony ICF-2001D performs very well with this large antenna, but as on previous occasions, the rule is always to ‘choose your battles well’ targeting weak DX signals in uncrowded areas of the Tropical Band and elsewhere on shortwave. More details on the longwire antenna to follow in another post. Recorded at the ‘DX woods’ in Oxfordshire, UK on 31/07/16 at 00:27 hrs UTC. Thanks for watching.

Direct link to Oxford Shortwave Log reception video of Radio Tawantinsuyo

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.

 

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

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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.

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Radio Botswana, 1987 Style

No seasoned shortwave DXer can forget one of the most distinctive interval signals ever–the “barnyard animals” which marked the beginning of the broadcast day of Radio Botswana, Gaborone, for decades.

On its long-time frequency of 4820 kHz, Botswana was an occasional catch for me from the Seattle USA area. I yearned for clearer, more reliable reception of this station and other Africans which my East Coast USA DXer pals enjoyed!

Zebras mingle with other animals at Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Zebras mingle with other animals at Chobe National Park, Botswana.

It was always fun–and a DXing challenge–to catch Radio Botswana’s interval signal and sign-on announcements, but it was typically mid winter for reception in Seattle. Propagation on 60 meters needed to be favorable to enjoy anything other than a weak, barely listenable signal. Imagine my surprise and excitement when on the evening of December 27, 1987 I came upon the following signal booming in on 4820 kHz, far, FAR better than any previous Botswana reception. Indeed, their signal that evening surpassed in clarity even the Papua New Guinea and Indonesian “regulars” I would hear on the tropical bands from the Northwest USA.


This recording begins with the famous barnyard animals interval, the beautiful Botswana national anthem (Fatshe leno la rona, or This is Our Land in English) and is followed by a full list of broadcasting frequencies and times in English and the (presumed) Setswana language. That information is followed by a flute instrumental version of the Christian hymn Beautiful Savior, which introduces a short devotional or scripture message. The 10 minute recording wraps up with an a cappella children’s choir.

Great Circle route from the Gaborone transmitter to Seattle receiver location.

Great Circle route from the Gaborone transmitter to Seattle receiver location.

My receiving setup for this 1987 recording was an ICOM IC-R70 and a 300 foot long random wire antenna. Such a long antenna is unusual for the middle of an urban area, but I took advantage of living in a 3rd floor apartment across from a small city park. One midweek day, while most folks were at work, I managed to string out this long antenna with very small diameter braided steel wire from the 3rd floor apartment balcony to a distant treetop. This “sloper” antenna had significant directivity to the northeast, which happens to be the bearing for many African stations heard from the Pacific Northwest USA. The small diameter wire was suspended so high that it was virtually invisible from ground level.

Antenna orientation for 1987 reception of Radio Botswana. I'm sure this urban location is plagued by QRM and radio frequency interference now in 2016! My ICOM IC-R70 receiver handled the strong signals from nearby MW & FM broadcasters surprisingly well with the addition of a Grove Tun3 Mini-tuner preselector.

Antenna orientation for 1987 reception of Radio Botswana. I’m sure this urban location is plagued by QRM and radio frequency interference now in 2016! My ICOM IC-R70 receiver handled the strong signals from nearby MW & FM broadcasters surprisingly well with the addition of a Grove Tun3 Mini-tuner preselector.

I continued to log Radio Botswana occasionally on 60 meters until the station eventually left the air (early 2000s I think), but I never heard them again with such a strong, clear signal as in late December 1987!

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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