Tag Archives: Wellbrook ALA1530LN Pro

Paul’s (very cold) DXing post in Alaska

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who writes:

In case anyone is mildly curious, this is the spot where I sit to DX.

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These are my radios and antennas.

Equipment in photo above: Grundig Satellit 750, Lowe HF225, 2 225 foot long wires, a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP magnetic loop and DX Engineering HF Preamp.

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And this is what’s to my back when DXing at 0945 AM local time

It was warm today, 4F above zero (-15.5C) instead of yesterday’s -18F below (-27.7C)!

Paul Walker
Galena, Alaska

That’s it, Paul! Next time I hear a DXer complaining about the weather, I’m just going to send them a link to this post! 🙂 Those are some seriously cold temps, yet I know it gets much, much colder there in the winter!

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Shortwave Logs from Alaska’s Central Interior Region

Wellbrook-Paul-Walker-Galena-AK

Here are some Shortwave logs from the central interior region of Alaska. I used a Tecsun PL880 and 225 foot long wire with Emtech ZM2 Tuner or a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP.

I’ve only used the Wellbrook for two days so I can’t really offer a thorough comparison yet. There was one case in particular where the 225 foot long wire and ZM2 tuner beat the Wellbrook by a large margin.

I don’t log everything I hear, but everything I do log gets recorded into an mp3 format audio clip. The audio recording helps tremendously with my QSL return rate, especially when I am hearing a broadcast in a language I don’t understand

I hear China Radio International, China National Radio, Radio Nacional de Brasilia/Amazonia, FEBC, World Harvest Radio and others regularly so I don’t log them because I try and keep my logs to what is interesting for one reason or another (programming, music, etc.) or rare/interesting.

3260 & 3325 kHz Papua New Guinea, NBC Radio. 1027 to 1034 UTC. 3325 Bouganville is carrying a man talking in a combination of Pidgin and English discussing mines, mine safety and mine regulations. Better then average signal with only light fading and interference. 3260 kHz Mandang is running music followed by an announcer talking about what I think are upcoming programming highlights. Fair signal, way better then usual

NBC Radio Mandang 3260 kHz audio: https://goo.gl/pmB8DD

NBC Radio Bouganviulle 3325 kHz audio: https://goo.gl/WKKEPJ

4870 kHz Indonesia, Radio Republik Indonesia Wamena. June 12 1001 UTCA regular visitor in the early morning hours here. not daily, but here often. Today’s signal is fair but with a moderate amount of fading and static crashes/interference. Usual fair of what I think is local music is being played.

Radio Republik Indonesia Wamena 4870 kHz audio: https://goo.gl/hjF1JL

5020 kHz Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation. June 12 1011UTC. Higher side of good signal with all factors taken into account. Only a little bit of fading during christian music.

Audio of Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation 5020 kHz here: https://goo.gl/d8BFX2

5745 kHz US, VOA Radio Gram. June 11 0943. The first time I logged VOA’s Radio Gram broadcast. There was something creating a loud buzzing noise but I could still hear the digital data. Only a little Russian text and text in english decoded for me. I will definitely try again!

VOA Radio Gram 5745 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/LfxJ6w

6070 kHz DPRK, Voice of Korea.June 11 1005UTC. Fair signal, but low modulation. Announcers voice is lower then the music. Fair amount of fading. I heard their usual marching/patriotic music. This is not a frequency I usually hear them on, wether owing to I am not out when this frequency is on, conditions or I hear usually CFRX Toronto.

Voice Of Korea 6070 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/SzXuEg

6115 kHz China, Voice of Strait. June 11 1008 UTC. Fair signal with a fair amount of fading. Sounds like a man talking, could be a news broadcast or interview. Not sure.

Voice Of Strait 6115 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/V92tlD

7260 kHz Vanuatu, Radio Vanuatu. June 7 0857UTC. Low side of fair signal with interview in english and mentions of Vanuatu. Interview ends and music plays, one song sounds like it’s a kids chorus. There is a fair amount of fading and static crashing/atmospheric noise. Radio Vanuatu is habitually, chronically, woefully unde rmodulated on a daily basis. Just a few days after this logging was made, I had what my radio signal meter showed as a good signal but NO audio. The signal was so under modulated I had no audio but I had a signal! I would actually listen to them if they played more music and had better modulation

Radio Vanuatu 7260 kHz audio here: https://goo.gl/V1GMQS

9545 Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation. June 11 0835. SIBC was on over 3 hours late on 9545 kHz, it’s supposed to sign off at 0500UTC and switch to 5020 kHz but at 0835UTC this night it was still on. 9545 kHz staying on late has been happening a lot lately. 9545 kHz is used as SIBC’s workday frequency with 5020 kHz being used in the early to mid morning and afternoon/evening. In this recording SIBC is fairly strong here with light fading and static. Whenever 9545 kHz is on late, it seems to be stronger then 5020 kHz would be. My logging tonight starts with an interview then music is being played.

Audio of SIBC 9545 kHz here: https://goo.gl/0AIj5n

12035 Mongolia, Voice of Mongolia. June 11 1018UTC. NEW! This is a new logging for me. weak signal playing music. Was able to match the interval tune and the announcers voice heard during my logging with a clip of a recent broadcast on their website.

Audio of Voice of Mongolia 12035 kHz here: https://goo.gl/Y2QXH7

15400 kHz Romania, Radio Romania International. June 12 1006 UTC. News broadcast in French. Somewhat weak, but steady signal with only light fading.

Audio of Radio Romania International 1540 kHz here: https://goo.gl/OBK0Q9

17770 kHz Phillipines, Radio Liberty targeting Siberia. June 12 0948. What sounded like a man in Russian during a news broadcast or interview. Weak but steady signal.

Audio of Radio Liberty 1770khz here: https://goo.gl/5fxzxJ

I could use some opinions and inputs from others on something:

I am DXing about 500 feet from the transmitter sites for KXES-LPFM 92.9 and KIYU-FM 88.1 along with K10LJ Channel 10. The FM’s are only 100 watts and the TV station is only 10 watts of Digital RF. However, the FM’s overload my Shortwave radio around 9.4 to 9.6 MHz along with the lower to mid part of the tropical bands. I have a MCM Electronics and Radio Shack FM trap and they help a bit, but don’t do nearly enough. I am willing to spend $100 or so for a good FM Trap/Filter. I’ll spend a little more if I have to and the product is proven at works. I can null out the interference by rotating my Wellbrook ALA1530LNP, but I may be nulling out the signal I want to hear at the same time. Returning things for me is a hassle so I’d rather pay good $ for something that works. Feel free to email me, walkerbroadcasting@gmail.com or reply to this thread.

Paul Walker is located in Galena, Alaska and is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Be sure to check out Paul’s YouTube channel and SoundCloud channel where everything he logs is recorded and posted. Click here to read his other contributions on the SWLing Post.

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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:


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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.

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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.

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