More african surprises on Cape Skagen!
Just completed the first “real” mini-pedition to Cape Skagen this season. I went out at lunchtime on friday to get all my gear up and running and was listening friday afternoon to saturday morning and saturday afternoon to sunday morning. I didn’t have any great expectations for this weekend, due to last week’s radio blackout’s and proton storms, and just as expected, there was no signals at all on mediumwave from North America this weekend. Furthermore, the MW-band was quite noisy at times and on saturday evening a quite big Aurora Borealis event was experienced. Although the Northern Light is a beautyful sight, it’s the last thing a MW-DX:er aiming for North America and other over-the-pole-signals wants. I any case, this time I used my Eton E1XM as main receiver and the Afedri to do “over-the-full-hour” recordings of the entire MW-band at times when stations normally ID. I didn’t have battery power enough in my laptop to let it run constantly, so this was somewhat a compromise. Next time, I will have another power-arrangement for the SDR. I used three BOG:s in 310, 340 and 50 degrees, all fed through balun-transformers.
There wasn’t much heard from the Far East. JOHR, Sapporo on 1287 KHz was heard for a while in an un-even battle with the IRIB Regional station in Lar. Listening at sunset produced a shipload of chinese stations on friday afternoon and a just as huge load of All India Radio regionals on saturday afternoon. In fact, there was AIR-stations heard on almost every MW-channel. Picture at left shows the MW-spectrum at 1736 UTC, just after local sunset. I have checked my IQ-recordings from the Afedri briefly, and I know that I have local ID:s on several of the AIR-stations. I will continue examining the IQ-files this week, and a complete log will be published here later on. Listening at sunrise generally didn’t produce anything at all. I maybe have a peruvian station on 1530 KHz, received at sunrise saturday morning, but I need to analyse my recording before I can say anything more about this one. Sunrise sunday morning produced a handful of brazilian stations on lower frequencies, all them quite common and since signals was very unstable, I decied to reel the antennas in and go back home for a well deserved(?) sleep.
However, friday evening and night to saturday bringed me some pretty big surprises, and just as three weeks ago, when I visited Skagen the last time, it was signals from Africa which made me jump over my shoulders. At 19:39 UTC I found a station on 1485,04 KHz playing the kind of music that often is to be heard from stations in Tchad, Niger and Sudan. I’m not sure if there is any common name, defining this type of african music, so I’m just calling it “Sahel music”. I guess most of you know what I mean. In any case, this station was playing nonstop Sahel music and consulting WRTH gives Sudan i.e. SRTC Regional Al-Gadarif, which is listed on 1485 Khz with the modest power of 5 KW. Now, this is a tentative logging, but the kind of music makes me quite sure of what station I was dealing with.
Well, if this wasn’t enough, an hour later I jumped over a station on 1026 KHz, playing beautyful african music. It turned out to be no less than Rádio Mocambique, Emisora Provincial de Manica, in Chimoio. A good ID, “Rádio Mocambique – Manica” was received on the full hour. That was the second RM Emisora Provincial that I have received on Cape Skagen in three weeks.
“All good things are three” we use to say here in Scandinavia, and my african triplet was completed around midnight when Radio Free Africa in Mwanza, Tanzania was received on 1377 KHz. The french co-channel was quite weak this evening, making the door to Africa wide open. I was pretty lucky as well, since the Mwanza station ID’d seconds after I had turned on my recorder.
I also did some listening on shortwave. Propagation was pretty good into the pacific area. VL8A in Alice Springs on 4835 KHz was a booming signal already on saturday afternoon, together with RRI Palangkaraya on 3325 KHz. VL8K and VL8T was also nice signals on the 120 meter band later on saturday evening. On 3915 KHz, I found Radio Fly, Papua New Guinea, which was somewhat a surprise for me. I managed to record an ID and some other announcements at 16:00 UTC. The rest of the time the programme only contained nonstop contemporary pop-music and ballads. I any case, this was a catch that made me very happy! During the night between saturday and sunday, I also found CKZN on 6160,90 KHz and CFRX on 6069,97 KHz. Both canadiens with good signals.
Audio files: I have uploaded the audio clips of the three african stations. Be my guest and listen, but please, don’t use them to send fake reception reports. Thanks!
- SRTC Regional Al-Gadarif 1485 KHz, is found here.
- Rádio Mocambique, Emisora Provincial de Manica 1026 KHz, is found here.
- Radio Free Africa, Mwanza, Tanzania 1377 KHz, is found here.
The complete log of the SKAG3 “mini-pedition” will be uploaded later on.