SKAG1: Hailstorm and ditto proton… but :)

Home again from the first Mini-Pedition to Cape Skagen, the northern end of Vardøya Island. Let me say that it was a mixed bag, condition wise. It started very well, but ended way down in the basement, due to a greater than 10 MeV proton event yesterday afternoon. Anyway, in general the little pedition was a success! A wonderful QTH, and like I said – it started very nice!

I started quite early yesterday morning, as I had planned to be ready for listening at 10:00 UTC. As it turned out, however, I was finished with all the antenna works and all the preparations already before 09:00 UTC since I’ve been working incredible fast due to a sudden hailstorm! I immedeately turned on my ICF-2010 and found the MW-band more or less crowded with North American stations – at least it sounded like that in my ears. Well, there was signals on every 10 KHz channel that I checked, and the best of all: barely no Europeans at all – except for the semi-local russian stations on 657 and 1034. Georgeous, georgeous, georgeous! As it’s said in the norwegian commercial for house-paint. Between 09:00-13:00 UTC I logged a bunch of US and Canadian west coast, praire and “rocky” stations as well as a few Alaskan and one from Hawaii. I didn’t log anything fancy, but it was probably the funniest four hours I’ve had since I started DX:ing in 1980. Remember that this is my first season this far north.

At 13:00 UTC the trans-polar mediumwave signals had faded out completely. I didn’t know the reason why at that time. While waiting for a possible opening into the Far East, I switched to the 90 meter-band and found nice signals from a couple of Papua New Guinea stations accompanied by RRI Palangkaraya. Switching back to MW didn’t result in anything from the Far East at all, except for the usual bunch of chinese stations which are to be found everywhere on the band these days, together with the likewise usual bunch of iranian stations. Later on, however, I found a couple of interesting stations from south-east Asia, which caught my attention for a while. Before that, I’d had another QSY, this time to the 120 meter-band, where I found all three Aussie stations with rather poor signals. The rest of the evening and early night I spent half awake, half sleeping, waiting for the sunrise and the morning peak into North America. It never came. Instead the band was populated with a bunch of Argentinian and Brazilian stations – all with very unstable signals. I managed to get a few in the log, but signals were generally very poor and it was very demotivating to face the fact that the nice conditions from the day before were gone. At 07:30 UTC I decided to gather my stuff and head for the warm and cozy bed of mine.

Ok, so what are the lessons learned from this first Mini-Pedition? Well, the first and most important: Next time, I will be ready for listening even earlier than this time. If I hadn’t been so morning-tired, I could have started to listen one or maybe even two hours earlier. Second: Next time I will bring yet another 200m BOG, which will be directed right in between the 330 degrees and the 50 degrees. Third: The ICF-2010 (modified) is an amazing piece of radio! I had almost forgotten how good it is and how good it sounds. When it comes to portables, I bet there is still nothing in this world that beats this trusty old radio. Ok, when they have comed up with a nifty way to power up a laptop and SDR for more than 3-4 hours during portable use, it will of course be a better solution – but right now the ICF-2010 stays untouched! Call me an old fart, but I like my analog radios better than my SDR-IQ. That’s just the way it is, and in the future I will bring a motor-cykle battery and my AOR-7030+.

If conditions improves until next weekend, and If the weather conditions still permits outdoor activities that are not hazardous or even leathal, I will have another try on Cape Skagen. It’s truly an amazing location in a dramatic landscape.

The log is found HERE!

Later this week I will start to upload some audio-files as well.



About Hans

Male. 50 years young. DX:er since 1980. In September 2011 I moved up to Vardø on Vardøya Island (EU-141) to start working as manager for the Coast Radio station in Vardø. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to work with the thing that I think is the most interesting in the whole world - Radio! My main interest is, yeah - you guessed right: Radio. I'm a ham radio operator, holding the callsign LA2MOA. My main radio interests is low power operation and low band DXing on the amateur bands, but also mediumwave and tropical band DX-listening. I'm also interested in angling, fly-fishing and fly-tying. The area around Vardø offers some great opportunities to do all of this. And, since I'm of swedish origin, I'm also madly interested in ice-hockey and since 35 years I'm a hardcore supporter of Rögle BK in Ängelholm - one of the few really true hockey clubs left in Sweden.

Posted on 23. October 2011, in Condx, DX, DX-ing on Cape Skagen. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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